Agronomic and chemical evaluation of hop cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions

  • Sandra Afonso Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO) – Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto
  • Margarida Arrobas Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO) – Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança
  • M. Ângelo Rodrigues Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO) – Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança
Keywords: Humulus lupulus, aroma, bitter acids, cone yield, cone quality


Aim of study: Evaluation of the agronomic performance and chemical profile of four hop cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions.

Area of study: The study was undertaken in Bragança, north-eastern Portugal.

Material and methods: The newly introduced cultivars (‘Columbus’, ‘Cascade’ and ‘Comet’) were compared with the well-stablished ‘Nugget’. The field experiment was carried out between 2017 and 2019. Dry matter (DM) yield (plant and cones), tissue elemental composition and bitter acid and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations in the cones were assessed.

Main results: ‘Comet’ was the most productive cultivar with the highest total DM yield (1,624 to 1,634 g plant-1), cone yield (572 to 633 g plant-1), and dry weight of individual cones (0.28 to 0.79 g cone-1). ‘Cascade’ showed the lowest average total DM yield (723 to 1,045 g plant-1). The year affected the average values of DM yield and the concentration of bitter acids in the cones, with ‘Cascade’ showing the highest sensitivity between cultivars. The concentrations of α and β-acids in the cones were within or close to the normal ranges internationally accepted for all cultivars. ‘Columbus’ exhibited the highest levels of α-acids, ranging between 12.04 % and 12.23%, followed by ‘Nugget’ (10.17–11.90%), ‘Comet’ (9.32–10.69%) and ‘Cascade’ (4.46–8.72%). The nutrient accumulation criteria in cone and leaf tissues seem to be a differentiating factor between cultivars with influence on bitter acid biosynthesis and biomass production.

Research highlights: All cultivars showed notable performance in terms of DM yield and bitter acid concentration in the cones when compared to international standards.


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How to Cite
AfonsoS., ArrobasM., & RodriguesM. Ângelo. (2021). Agronomic and chemical evaluation of hop cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 19(3), e0904.
Plant production (Field and horticultural crops)