We used simple sequence repeat markers and 25 morphological characters to characterize 18 Tunisian fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars. Morphological traits suggested a high level of variation in the germplasm. Principal component analysis (PCA) differentiated the studied cultivars. In the derived dendrogram the cultivars clustered independently of their geographical origin and sex of trees. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to compare genetic polymorphism with the observed phenotypic variation. Using six microsatellite primers, 39 alleles and 59 genotypes were identified. The high values of polymorphism information content (PIC), ranging from 0.67 to 0.85, confirmed the effectiveness of microsatellite analysis for determining molecular polymorphism and characterizing the studied cultivars. Multilocus genotyping unambiguously distinguished all the cultivars. The ability of each type of feature to differentiate cultivars of this crop is discussed.
Giorgio Maria Ciaceri was a Jesuit missionary from Sicily who spent about ten years in North Africa during the mid Nineteenth century. From his Jesuit center located near Algiers, he travelled all over Algeria and arrived until Tunis where he spent the last period of his journey. His travelogue, published in 1885–86, is almost unknown to scholarly research and is a very rich source for anthropological, ethnographical, historical, social, religious and linguistic information about the countries and the cultures he visited. The present article deals with his travelogue and attempts to draw the attention to some aspects of his work and in particular to the linguistic issues that it contains.