Title : Improvement of saffron ‘Crocus sativus L.' by plant biotechnologies
Saffron, also called ‘red gold’, is the most expensive spice in the world. This spice is derived from the dried red stigmas of Crocus sativus L. It is well appreciated for its color (crocin), taste (picrocrocin) and aroma (safranal). Saffron has medicinal properties at low doses ; it is used in culinary art, traditional medicine, and as dye in textile and woodwork.
World saffron production amounts to some 300 tonnes/year. The main producing countries are: Iran (94%), Greece (2.2%), Morocco (1.5%), India (1%), Spain (0.5%) and other countries (0.7%). In Morocco, saffron cultivation is an important economic activity in the mountainous regions of Taliouine (Taroudant province) and Taznakht (Ouarzazate province). Morocco is renowned for the good quality of its saffron, which is a flagship local product and which contributes to the income of local people.
Different biotechnologies are used to improve saffron production, to select plant material in terms of either health or agronomic potential, and to develop valuable tools such as molecular marking and chemical identification in order to protect this resource against countrfeiting and fraud.
The conference will focuse on :
- The advances in agro-biological level of saffron and acquired knowledges of its morphology and physiology.
- The application of in vitro culture technics to saffron for the purpose of accelerated multiplication of high value plants and production of important metabolites of this bulbous plant with frequent endogenous contaminants.
- The molecular characterization of saffron,especially the recent successes of the demonstration of its biodiversity by markers such as SSR and ISRR despite its mode of vegetative multiplication.
- The technics of chemical studies applied to secondary metabolites of saffron for the purpose of assay, characterization or chemical identity establishment such as spectrophotometry, HPLC, the medium infrared, coloring / chemometrics ...