Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL MARKER ASSISTED SELECTION PROGRAM FOR CACAO Title: The South Florida Avocado Breeding Program at USDA-Agricultural Research Service Subtropical Horticulture Research Station (USDA-ARS SHRS)

Authors
item Kuhn, David
item Tondo, Cecile
item Freeman, Barbara
item Winterstein, Michael
item Livingstone, Donald
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas
item Gutierrez, Osman
item Schnell, Raymond -

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2012
Publication Date: April 15, 2012
Citation: Kuhn, D.N., Tondo, C.L., Freeman, B.L., Winterstein, M.C., Livingstone, D., Ayala Silva, T., Gutierrez, O.A., Schnell, R.J. 2012. The South Florida Avocado Breeding Program at USDA-Agricultural Research Service Subtropical Horticulture Research Station (USDA-ARS SHRS). Trade Journal Publication. 2(1):22-29.

Interpretive Summary: USDA-ARS SHRS is part of the USDA National Germplasm Repository system and houses collections of tropical and subtropical fruit trees such as mango, lychee, and avocado. In addition to maintaining the germplasm collections, our mission is to also identify genetic diversity in the collections, to evaluate the accessions for agronomic traits when possible and to identify and release improved varieties for commercial exploitation. Avocado research at SHRS includes these maintenance, evaluation, and enhancement components, and embedded within these conservation and utilization areas are included the aspects of breeding and disease screening for Avocado Sunblotch viroid (ASBVd), Phytopthora Root Rot (PRR) and laurel wilt at an off-station site. In addition, we have an avocado breeding program to identify superior cultivars for Florida growing conditions. We are currently evaluating a large family of trees made by crossing two Florida avocado cultivars, Simmonds and Tonnage using modern molecular genetic techniques. The information discussed in the paper should be of interest to avocado growers and other stakeholders in the avocado production industry.

Technical Abstract: USDA-ARS SHRS is part of the USDA National Germplasm Repository system and houses collections of tropical and subtropical fruit trees such as mango, lychee, and avocado. In addition to maintaining the germplasm collections, our mission is to also identify genetic diversity in the collections, to evaluate the accessions for agronomic traits when possible and to identify and release improved varieties for commercial exploitation. Avocado research at SHRS includes these maintenance, evaluation, and enhancement components, and embedded within these conservation and utilization areas are included the aspects of breeding and disease screening for Avocado Sunblotch viroid (ASBVd), Phytopthora Root Rot (PRR) and laurel wilt at an off-station site. We currently have the two largest families of avocado hybrids in the world for evaluation for avocado breeding, ~750 trees of ‘Hass’-‘Bacon’ hybrids and ~750 trees of ‘Simmonds’-‘Tonnage’ hybrids. We have developed a sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay for ASBVd and investigated PRR resistant root stocks for South Florida growing conditions, which are much wetter than those of California. An important goal of avocado breeding is to identify new, improved cultivars of avocado that can be supplied to growers to deal with environmental conditions, disease prevalence, or consumer taste. Our goal is to create very large families of avocado trees varying for important traits that we will analyze with a large number of DNA markers to generate a highly significant association between DNA marker and trait. The markers in those regions will be used in marker-assisted selection (MAS) to develop new cultivars for commercial release in South Florida.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page