Cultivating garlic after the rice season has been increasingly att ractive for rice farmers in the Philippines especially in areas where rice production is constrained by water scarcity. In Mindoro, Philippines, garlic cultivars planted include ‘Mindoro White’ (MW), ‘Lubang’ (LB), ‘Batanes White’ (BW), and ‘Ilocos White’ (IW). This study provides an in-depth analysis of major local garlic cultivars for classification and for selection of those with improved adaptation and marketability. For classification, we focused on phenotypic stable traits. Among these traits analyzed, clove weight (p < 0.001) and number of bulb leaf sheaths (p < 0.05) were significantly different. While there were small differences in their clove number and bulb color, bulb circumference (p < 0.001) and weight (p < 0.01) were highly significant. BW has the largest bulb circumference (126.50 ± 1.88 mm) and weight (22.38 ± 0.94 g) while MW has the smallest (103.30 ± 1.57 mm) and is lightest (13.78 ± 0.50 g). Bivariate analysis revealed that the highest bulb circumference and weight values of MW population correspond to the lowest values of BW population suggesting that these cultivars are two distinct populations. This was further supported by classical clustering analysis that distinguished them by bulb circumference (87.12%), clove number (76.01%) and number of clove vascular structures (78.27%). Across cultivars, measurements of the epidermal and parenchymal cells significantly differed. Qualitative analysis of the bulb characteristics showed that BW exhibits a regular, multi-fan bulb structure with three layers of large cloves implying market attractiveness while IW’s distinctly tight clove’s skin indicates long storage potential.
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