Comparison of selected characteristics of cultivarsand wild-growing genotypes of Sambucus nigra in Slovakia

Keywords: elderberry; morphometric analyses; economic traits; inflorescences; drupes.


In view of global changes, it is necessary to consider plant breeding as a process of developing new varieties and cultivars for present and future needs, with an emphasis on improving their quantitative and qualitative characteristics. The aim of this study was to compare wild-growing genotypes of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) with three registered cultivars Haschberg, Sambo and Bohatka in selected economic traits in Slovakia. Characters of selected genotypes and cultivars were tested in dynamics of inflorescences and fruit clusters, the morphological parameters such as the weight of fruit clusters, weight and number of drupes and weight of cluster without drupes. On the cv. Haschberg we evaluated the number of inflorescences for each individual plant for a period of three years. A high number of inflorescences was established in the first 3 years of plant growth. This is evidenced by the measurements from the 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year old plants with the number of inflorescences on average 21.3–25.7, 42.2–51.0, 65.1–73.7 and 99.0, respectively. The cultivars matured about two to three weeks later compared with wild-growing genotypes. The weight of the fruit clusters and the weight of drupes is an important trait in terms of plant production and efficiency of cultivation. For wild-growing genotypes, we also identified genotypes with a high weight of fruit clusters (111.1 g – SN-48) and weight of drupes (105.5 g – SN-48), which are determinant properties for selection of new genotypes for plant breeding and cultivation. The yield of juice is an important indicator for technological processing of elderberry fruit. For the cultivars the juice yield was found to range from 78.7% (cv. Sambo) to 82.9% (cv. Haschberg). We determined that the yield of juices of wild-growing genotypes ranged from 77.9–86.0%. The cultivar Haschberg had a better set of morphological traits compared to wild-growing genotypes, even though it was possible to find comparative genotypes in some characteristics. The results and knowledge obtained are useful for future breeders, cultivators, and processors of elderberries.


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