IntroductionFicus BC (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Aytekin

IntroductionFicus carica L. or its common name is common fig is a Ficus species that belong to Eusyce section of mulberries family, Moraceae (Table 1) (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Flaishman, Rodov, & Stover, 2007; Himelrick, 1999). Being known to be the oldest fruit species that are cultivated by man, it is believed that common fig is now being cultivated since 5000 BC (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Aytekin Polat & Siddiq, 2012; S. Hossain & Boyce, 2009) based on the archaeobotanical evidence that found in Jordan(Kislev, Hartmann, & Bar-Yosef, 2006).Beside common fig, these species also have others different name which include figue (French), feige (German), figo (Italian and Portuguese), higo or brevo (Spanish) (Flaishman et al., 2007), tin (Malaysia), ficu and piku (ITIS, 2011). (Condit, 1955)FicusFicus is a genus under family Moraceae and known to be the most illustrious member of this family due to its large number of species (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011; Stover, Aradhya, Ferguson, & Crisosto, 2007). Ranging from 600 – 1900 tropical and subtropical tree, shrub, vine and climber species, this genus can be found mostly in the tropic and subtropic region (Himelrick, 1999; Mawa, Husain, & Jantan, 2013; Stover et al., 2007). With this number of species, Ficus is probably the leader of all plant genera of flowering plants in term of the number of species it has (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011).Although this genus has a large number of species, only a few species have fruits that considered as edible. From these few number of edible fruits, the only species that is cultivated by man F. carica and F. sycamorus. The fruits of all Ficus species is synconium with enlarged, fleshy, hollow peduncle that bears closely massed of tiny flower on its inner wall (Himelrick, 1999).Known to be one of the largest genera of medicinal plant, this genus has very important genetic resources as it has high economic and nutrient value (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011; Mawa et al., 2013). MorphologyThe fig tree is deciduous, fast-growing, and spreading in the habit which tends to be greater in width than in height and will produce multiple branches shrubs. The wood of this tree species is in low density and can break easily. The small branches tend to have a pithy interior than completely woody. These species will produce a milky latex when the branches or other parts of this tree is cut or damages. This special milky latex is very irritant to human skin when in contact (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Stover et al., 2007).Fig have a large (up to 30 cm long) with thick, bright dark green colour, single and alternate. These leaves are deeply lobed with usually three to five sinuses. The leaves also contain trichomes which rough on abaxial and smooth on adaxial. The pubescence leaf can irritant to the skin when contact (Andersen & Crocker, 1994).The flower of figs is tiny and usually out of sight and cluster and form a ‘fruit’ structure called syconium. The structure of the flower is minute, unisexual, bearing either stamens or pistil (depending on fig type) and borne to leaf axils (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Stover et al., 2007).The fig fruit is unique sand derived from a hollow shell of receptacle drupelets that develop from the individual female flowers lining the receptacle wall. Matured fruits have tough peel and contain inner wind that bound with a mass of seed with jelly-like flesh (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011). The seed of fig fruit may be large, medium or small depending on variety and the number of seed per fruit can be ranging from 30 – 1600 seed (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011).Fig tree produces areal roots that can spread easily spread to three times the diameter of its canopy (Himelrick, 1999). The fig tree will produce a vascular liquid with rubber-like quantities known as a latex from all broken plant structure (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011; Stover et al., 2007). This latex contains a protein-degrading enzyme called ficin which will cause irritating to human skin (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Flaishman et al., 2007). This latex is believed to be one of self-defence mechanism to the plant itself (Lansky & Paavilainen, 2011).Type and VarietyGenerally, there is two basic type of F. carica L. They are caprifig and edible fig. Caprifig is a type of fig that bears both female and male flower but generally unpalatable. This type of fig also has chaffy stamen structure. Caprifig usually uses as a source of pollination. Edible fig is fig type that only bears a female flower. This fig type can be divided more into three group of fig tree which caduceus, persistent and intermediate. Caducous fig or Symrna fig is a fig type that they need pollination to set crop and any fruit form without pollination will drop before matured. Persistent or common type of fig is fig that does not need pollination to set a crop. Lastly is Intermediate or San Pedro fig, this type of fig usually does not need pollination for breba crop but do need pollination for the main crop in a certain environment (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Himelrick, 1999; Pereira et al., 2015; Stover et al., 2007).According to Condit (1955), there are about total 720 fig variety (89 Caprifigs, 129 Symrna, 21 San Pedro and 481 common figs) have been identified. Ipoh Blue Giant (IBG) has a small to medium size, light brown to violet fig fruit colour with strawberry pulp. The shape is turbinate to oblique with usually without neck. It has a sweet flavour. It belongs to common fig type (figure 2.1) (Himelrick, 1999).DistributionBelieved to be indigenous to western Asia, F. carica is originated from the Old World Tropics, the Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Morton, 1987). In the Mediterranean, this species has been cultivated since 5000 BC (Andersen & Crocker, 1994). Currently, this species can be found growing wild mostly in Mediterranean region (Flaishman et al., 2007).World PlantingSince it can adapt well to drought and high temperature, it now can be found cultivated either for commercial or non-commercial purposes in an area that possess either temperate or sub-temperate climate (Irget, Aksoy, Okur, Ongun, & Tepecik, 2008; Stover et al., 2007) especially in Mediterranean region (Morton, 1987). According to FAO (2016), there is approximately 358494 ha of land (Table 2) all around the world that are planted with fig given total fruit production of fig per year is more than one million metric tons. Turkey is the largest fig fruit producer producing about 27% (Table 3) from the total world fig fruit being produce all around the world. This followed by Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Iran and Syria with combined these top six countries contributes about 71% of fig fruit produce from the total world fig fruit being harvested in a year. Planting in MalaysiaFig cultivation in Malaysia is still new. There is only quite a number of fig orchids available throughout Malaysia. According to a report by Kosmo! on 2015, it reported that fig was brought to Malaysia by an unknown individual for hobby purposes. This becomes a new problem to Malaysia agriculture since its enter Malaysia in a wrong way without pest and disease control and quarantine procedure. Due to this, Jabatan Pertanian had found a fungus, Cerotelium fici on this imported fig tree that can cause a very serious problem on other crops. C. fici is a fungus that causes rust on fig tree leaves and fruits (Kosmo!, 2015)Up to now, fig cultivation in Malaysia is still on probation and no technical scientific research been done or published for commercial purposes in Malaysia (Kosmo!, 2015). Mostly, fig cultivation in Malaysia is for hobby purposes. Now, besides marketing the fig product such fresh fruits, jam and other, the farmer also focus on planting material for propagation purpose to be sold since it has high demand and market value. The price of cutting alone can be sold up to RM30 – RM100 or more depending on the variety of fig (Yusoff, personal communication, April 24, 2016).Growth RequirementNowadays, figs are being cultivated all around the world especially in warm and temperate climate region. But, the quality and yield of the fruits may not at the best state as the one grows in a Mediterranean climate which is hot, dry summer and wet winter(Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Flaishman et al., 2007; Himelrick, 1999; Joseph & Raj, 2011).Fig can be planted in a wide range of soil from well-drained loam soil which either in coarse sandy soil to the high relative heavy clay soil and average soil to poor soil (Kamas, Nesbitt, & Stein, 2016). The best soil to a planted fig is in well-drained loam soil that contains plenty of organic matter with pH between 5.5 – 8.0. The preferable pH to plant a fig in 6.0 – 6.5. (Himelrick, 1999). To ensure the optimum fig grow to avoid any soil that can hold water more than 24 hours especially after rain (Sauls, 2008). Sunlight is very important in growing fig. To maximize the fruit yield, ensure the site can receive at least 8 hours of sunlight and heat in a day (Himelrick, 1999; Sauls, 2008). PropagationA fig tree can be propagated either by seed, cutting, air layering or grafting (Flaishman et al., 2007). The most popular propagation technique that is practised in Malaysia is cutting and air layering (Yusoff, personal communication, April 24, 2016).For cutting, fig usually propagates using hardwood cutting. The selected hardwood cutting with 15 – 20 cm long and less than 2 cm in diameter are chosen. The best cutting will have some last year wood on them. Then place the cutting on moist media with at least half the length of the cutting should be below the soil. Don’t frequently irrigate the media until they are very dry. Only irrigate them more frequently when the leaf is formed. Transplant the cutting into a larger pot when cutting is big enough (Andersen & Crocker, 1994; Himelrick, 1999). UsesFig is one of the earliest cultivated fruits tree in the world (Loizzo, Bonesi, Pugliese, Menichini, & Tundis, 2014) in Mediterranean region. It is considered to be one of the healthiest fruits (Çali?kan & Aytekin Polat, 2011).Rich in carbohydrates, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals such potassium, fibre, calcium, iron compared to other fruits (Hung, Tanaka, Uchino, & Hiruma, 2011; Loizzo et al., 2014) (Table 4) it has become the most popular and important as part of dietary people in Mediterranean region (Çali?kan & Aytekin Polat, 2011). Besides that, fig fruits also a good source of flavonoid and polyphenols especially anthocyanin that acts as an antioxidant (Joseph & Raj, 2011; Slatnar, Klancar, Stampar, & Veberic, 2011). The fruits either can be eaten fresh or been dried. Generally, the fresh fig fruits are eaten with the skin. However, due to high perishability of fig fresh fruits, most of the production is used as dried fig to make them easier to be store and ship to expand the potential markets (Aytekin Polat & Siddiq, 2012; Pereira et al., 2015). Besides that, peel or unpeel fig fruits may also be used in various food preparation which includes pies, puddings, cakes, jam and others (Aytekin Polat & Siddiq, 2012; Yusoff, personal communication, April 24, 2016). Other than that, the fig leaves can be made into a tea (Yusoff, personal communication, April 24, 2016).Various part of fig tree includes bark, leaves, fruits, tender shoot, seeds and latex are medically important. Fig parts contain a laxative, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, cancer suppressive effects. Which this important in preventing or treating some human diseases (Joseph & Raj, 2011; Loizzo et al., 2014). Figs also rich in flavonoid, phenol and some other bioactive compound which used to treat gastrointestinal respiratory, inflammatory, cardiovascular disorder, ulcerative disease and also cancer (Joseph & Raj, 2011). Figs have been used widely as a traditional medicinal treatment to treat fever, asthma, epilepsy, swelling, tumour, inflammation and hepatitis. It also important sources for the diabetic patient as it is sugar-free fruits (Cuquel et al., 2011; Joseph & Raj, 2011; Lynch, Goldweber, & Rich, 1954). ConclusionBeing the oldest fruits that being cultivated by man, this species is one in few fruit tree that does not need pollination to produce fruits. Able to grow optimally under Mediterranean region (warm and temperate climate), the performance of this species under Malaysia climates is still now known. Fruits rich in carbohydrates, essential amino acids, vitamins and mineral make this fruit species became suitable for daily diet.