FOOD REVIEWS INTERNATIONAL
Vol. 19, Nos. 1&2, pp. 99–109, 2003
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been cultivated in the Andean region for thousands of years, providing highly nutritious food to poor farmers in the Andes. The conditions for crop growth are very difficult in the high region of the Andes, where the most harmful abiotic adverse factors that affect crop production are drought, frost, soil salinity, hail, snow, wind, flooding, and heat.
Quinoa can grow with only 200mm of rainfall in pure sand. Fourteen lines with improved drought resistance have been identified, and several drought-mediating mechanisms have been found. The crop has also demonstrated unusually high salt tolerance; many varieties can grow in salt concentrations as high as those found in seawater (40mS cm-1), and four lines have been identified with even higher tolerance. Quinoa also has a high degree of frost resistance, surviving -8°C for up to 4 hours, depending on phenological phase and variety.