Burley tobacco in Romania - present and future
In Romania, the Burley tobacco was introduced in 1951, its traditional area of growing being the centre and the north - west of the country (Transylvania), on fertile, light, permeable, well supplied with water soils, of clay and sandy - clay nature. Lately, the extension of Burley tobacco growing was tested also in the western part of the country (countries Timis and Arad), on levigated chernozems, brown and brown - reddish forestry soils. In the latest period (1990 - 2002), the research group for breeding Burley tobacco aimed for the following objectives: - the release of new cultivars and hybrids with high yield potential, superior quality indices (low percent of main rib, average content of nicotine and low content of tar), early in vegetation; - the release of biological forms resistant to unfavorable environment conditions (low temperatures, drought and air scorching heat); - the release of genotypes resistant to the tobacco specific diseases at seedling (Chalara elegans, Pythium de baryanum, Rhizoctonia solani) and in the field (TMV, PVY, Pseudomonas syringae var. tabaci, Peronospora tabacina Adam); - the release of valuable biological forms, with high genotype and phenotype plasticity, able to easily adapt to the soil, weather and ecological conditions specific to the growing areas. For reaching the proposed goals a numerous initial breeding material was used (50 biological forms, native and foreign, from France, USA, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria), which provided a rich source of genetic variability. They were subjected to the most efficient breeding methods (sexed hybridization, individual selection, backcrossing, cytoplasmatic male sterility, in vitro cultures of cells and tissues). The results of this intense work were the new valuable Burley cultivars, released and introduced in large production: Burley 114 (released in 1996), Burley 224 (released in 1998), Burley 194 (released in 2000) and Burley 196 (proposed for releasing in 2003).