Iran Achievements

Quinoa is a native plant to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. The grain of quinoa is a highly nutritious food. The high nutritional quality of this crop is mostly due to its protein quantity, quality, vitamins and minerals.

This, coupled with Quinoa's desirable growth and yield make it an excellent candidate crop as part of a Controlled Ecological Life Support System for the long-term space exploration by NASA. Quinoa usage and cultivation is spreading in different countries in the five continents of the world. Quinoa was evaluated and cultivated in Iran for the first time in 2009.

The plant showed good adaptation and produced a promising yield. Nine accessions of quinoa provided from the FAO-TCP project and four accessions that were produced and evaluated previously in Iran were sown on 26th of December 2013 in the research station of Iranshahr, Baluchistan, south east of Iran. The accessions establishment, growth and flowering were normal, but unexpected. Their response to the sowing date and climate condition was noble and interesting.

The life cycle of the genotypes was longer than the normal life cycle. The early maturity accession was Titicaca with 124 days and the late maturity accessions were Sajama and Santamaria with 165 days. Two accessions Sajama and Santamaria that were previously evaluated and have produced good yields in the station but didn’t produce any grains. The accessions long flowering, life cycle and lack of grain productivity of Sajama and Santamaria caused by the late sowing date. However, the other accessions produced yields and the highest yield accession was Titicaca with 4477.7 kg/ha.

Results and Discussion

The plants germinated and emerged 5 days after sowing date and established well. The late germination of seeds was observed, that caused by late sowing. It was one month later than the optimum sowing date for quinoa genotypes in the region. So that the climate condition in the station was cold for about two months after sowing the seeds. It also caused late plant flowering as well, but the growth habit, panicle formation and flowering were normal. The plants flowering occurred at the early maturity cultivar Titicaca for 67 days after sowing date, and the latest flowering was 97 days in 5 genotypes in the trial. The mean of flowering duration for all genotypes was 87.76 days. The results revealed that most of the genotypes were late mature in the project. This lengthy period of flowering might be caused by the cool weather condition and the day length as well. However, Titicaca cultivar that had the shortest flowering period and life cycle duration had the highest yield among the accessions, which was very high and unprecedented 4477.7 kg/ha. The second and third highest yields were 1555.5 and 1032 kg/ha for Bio Bio CHILE 2011 (Q21), COLORADO USA, (Q12) 2011 genotypes respectively. However, Sajama and Santamaria accessions didn't produce any grain yields. The results were interesting and unexpected, since two quinoa accessions Sajama and Santamaria previously showed adaptability to the region and produced reasonably good yield. Lack of grain yield of two accessions Sajama and Santamaria might be reaction of those accessions to photoperiod. Research on developing quinoa as a crop for North America agriculture is being conducted in Colorado. The average yield in Colorado field trial of the variety C0407 has given 1346 kg/ha, while other lines have yielded from 1594 to1951 kg/ha. Yields that exceed 2019 kg/ha in research trials are possible with adequate stands, fertility, moisture, and weed control (Johnson and McCamant, 1988. Johnson and croissant, 1990). The yield of Sajama and Santamaria in Karaj, Iran trial were; 2362 and 2490 Kg/ha respectively (Sepahvand et al., 2010).

The harvested yield from 13 genotypes in Iranshahr trial comparing with Colorado and Karaj field trial are quite reasonable despite of late sowing date of the trial.

The plants were well grown and the height of the genotypes was normal, the average of the plants height was 114.7 cm and the maximum and minimum were 166 cm (Bio-Bio- CHILE 2011-FAO (Q19)) and 90.6 cm (Titicaca) respectively.

The results of the trial revealed that Titicaca despite of the short plant height (90.6 cm) produced the highest yield. Eight introduced quinoa varieties were evaluated in Colorado their yield was 1120-2000 kg/ha. However, Cahuil variety despite of the least plant height (129 cm) had the highest yield (Johnson, and McCamant, 1988).

The length and width of the genotypes panicle varied between them. The length range of the accessions was 30.7 cm. The average of the panicle length was 40.13 cm and the maximum and minimum were 54.7 and 24 cm respectively. The accession (Q21) Bio-Bio- CHILE 2011-FAO had the longest panicle, while the width of panicle was reasonably good (20 cm). But the accession CHILE 2011-FAO (Q26) had the shortest length and width of panicle, 24 and 9 cm respectively. All of the accessions were quite branchy plants, the average of the branches of accessions was 16.13, while the most branchy plant was (Q21) Bio-Bio- CHILE 2011-FAO having 26.3 branches and the least branches was belong to (Q31) CHILE 2011-FAO genotype with 9 branches. The Panicle color of the most accessions were green (8 genotypes), but some had Green-violet (3 genotypes) panicles.

The most distinguished panicle color was orange belonged to Titicaca genotype.

The results of the varied genotypes trial were noble and noteworthy. The results confirmed the previous adaptability trials that quinoa should be considered as a future crop in the region. The accessions reaction and productivity to the climate condition needs more investigation on photoperiod, climate condition, temperature, saline and drought tolerance. It will give better chance for introduction of suitable quinoa cultivars in the country and successful extension of the crop production and usage of a quality food.

Genotype No Genotype-Origin Number of branches Width of Panicle (cm) Length of Panicle (cm) Panicle color
Plant height (cm)
Days to 50% flowering
Phenology in 1-5-2014
Life cycle duration Yield Kg/ha
1 SAJAMA-Iran 9.3 8 37.3 Green-violet 102.6 90 Kernel filling 169  
2 (Q31) CHILE 2011-FAO 9 14.3 27.7 Green 98.7 82 Kernel filling 152 544.5
3 (Q22) CHILE 2011-FAO 12 21.3 45 Green 83.3 90 Kernel filling 152 788.8
4 Q18) NAVLE- CHILE 2011-FAO 14.3 11.3 47 Green 130.3 97 Kernel filling 152 644
5 Q19) Bio-Bio- CHILE 2011-FAO 23 10 26.7 Green-violet 166 97 Kernel filling 152 155
6 (Q21) Bio-Bio- CHILE 2011-FAO 26.3 20 54.7 Green 164 82 Kernel filling 152 1555.5
7 (Q27) CHILE 2011-FAO 21 14 44.3 Green 129.3 97 Kernel filling 152 711
8 (Q26) CHILE 2011-FAO 11 9 24 Green 89 97 Kernel filling 152 433
9 (Q29) CHILE 2011-FAO 15.3 14.2 34 Green 95 97 Kernel filling 152 500
10 (Q12) COLORADO USA, 2011-FAO 13.3 9 39.5 Green 86.7 75 Kernel filling 152 1033
11 SAJAMA IRANSHAHR-Iran 21 18 54.7 Green-violet 135.3 90 Kernel filling 152 200
12 SANTAMARIA-Iran 19.3 21 52.7 Light violet 120.3 80 Kernel filling 169  
13 TITICACA-Iran 15 12.7 35 Orange 90.6 67 Ripening 120 4477.7
  Total 209.8 182.8 521.7   1491.1 1141      
  Average 16.13 14.06 40.13   114.7 87.76