From the Himalayan foothills to the Mediterranean basin, what knowledge of the evolutionary history and natural diversity of the apricot tree brings us

 Véronique Decroocq, Fruit Biology and Pathology research unit, INRAE Bordeaux
 IDEEV - Salle Rosalind Franklin

Since its domestication 2,000 to 3,000 years ago in Central Asia, the apricot tree has adapted to diverse and varied environments, from the Middle East to the Caucasus, then around the Mediterranean in the West, and to the borders of East Asia.

Despite their similar characteristics, these apricot trees from distinct wild populations in Central Asia have experienced independent domestication. The life cycle, the quality of the fruit, and the resistance to diseases are all characteristics associated with the genes affected by the human selection of these trees and the genes related to its local adaptation. Knowing a little better about the genetic determinants involved in the adaptation process in this perennial species should contribute significantly to the selection of fruit trees in the context of climate change and changes in agricultural practices (agroecology, reduction of inputs, diversification, and innovation). for niche markets etc.…).

Véronique Decroocq is research director at INRAE at Bordeaux’s Fruit Biology and Pathology research unit, affiliated with the Plant Breeding division. She graduated from the ISA agricultural school of Lille and Leuven University and then attended the Paris XI Orsay University, obtaining her Ph.D. (1994) in plant molecular and cellular biology. As a postdoctorate, she received a fellowship from CSIRO Plant Industry (Canberra, Australia) before being appointed permanently as a scientist at INRA (1997). Since then, Véronique’s research has focused on analyzing genetic data in fruit trees.