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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Exploring Avocado Variability for Laurel Wilt Resistance and Other Fruit Quality and Horticultural Traits for Production in East-Central Fl

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Project Number: 6034-21000-014-05
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 01, 2011
End Date: Jun 30, 2016

With the decline in citrus production, many citrus growers and homeowners are looking for viable alternatives to citrus in East-Central Florida. Avocado production has significant potential, but no cultivars have been selected for their suitability in our region. In addition, the disease laurel wilt is a significant threat to avocado. This project will investigate disease resistance, fruit quality and other horticultural traits for production in East-Central Florida and will couple these investigations with a genetic mapping study to determine which genes are linked to key traits for use in future marker assisted selection.

About 600 trees have been planted from a population of Hass x Bacon and Bacon x Hass for a detailed mapping study and as a source for avocado cultivars suitable for East-Central Florida production. Extensive data on tree growth, disease resistance, and fruit quality will be collected over the next five years. In addition, seedlings are being generated from every divergent seed source genotype we can identify to be challenged with the Laurel Wilt fungus (Raffaelea lauricola). These seedlings will be inoculated and monitored for disease development and aspects of resistance response. All material will be assessed using a newly developed Avocado SNP Genotyping Chip and resulting data will be used to assess which gene variants are associated with critical traits of interest.

Last Modified: 11/24/2015
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