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Morphological Characterization of Agave tequilana Weber Variety azul (Asparagaceae) under Cultivation in the Municipality of Llera, Tamaulipas, Mexico

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: The blue agave (Agave tequilana Weber variety azul) is a species that is widely used to produce tequila. For this reason, in the last decade, large extensions of terrain have been established for its cultivation. However, much of this land has been abandoned in a short time because at the beginning it was not known that at least six years were needed before the agave could be harvested. However, when the growers wanted to reintegrate some of these crops into the productive process, their exact age and the cultural activities needed for harvesting the agave were unknown because information regarding its vegetative development relative to its age was lacking. The hypothesis of this work was: If the morphological properties reflect the development state of the population individuals, then the properties height, basal area, rosette diameter, the north, south, east and west leaf, leaves number and foliar verticil will help to characterize the age categories in Agave tequilana Weber variety azul population under cultivated conditions. To this end, six plots with plants of different ages (one to six years) were selected in the municipality of Llera, Tamaulipas, Mexico. In each plot, 60 individuals were selected at random, and their morphological properties (height, basal area, rosette diameter, northern leaf, southern leaf, eastern leaf, western leaf; number of leaves and leaf whorl) were measured. With these data, a principal component analysis was performed to determine which of these properties explains the most variation of the data. The results indicate that height and basal area are the properties that are most closely associated with plant age. It is also for the first time demonstrated that harvest time can be reduced by one or two years, which favors producers economically because it could generate savings in production costs.

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