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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Research Project #444801

Research Project: Expanding Florida Avocado Production through Varietal Selection

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Project Number: 6034-41430-007-019-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2028

To identify avocado trees disease-tolerant, including but not limited to laurel wilt and phytophthora root rot, and to analyze fruit quality for potential commercial value. 1. To inventory tree and crop characteristics of new accessions from the USDA and University of Florida. 2. To test accessions for tolerance to laurel wilt. 3. To test accessions for cold/freeze tolerance. 4. To describe tree phenotype, bloom time, crop yield. 5. To determine optimum maturity and harvest of the selections tolerant to disease or cold. 6. To explore production potential, postharvest and eating qualities of tolerant selections.

The USDA, U.S. Horticultural Research lab (USHRL) has a variety collection in Fort Pierce with trees planted since 2013, and continues to propagate scions on Lula rootstock, recently identified as the best rootstock for the local conditions. Plant material has been collected over the years from various collaborators, including University of Florida, ARS Miami, private individuals. Some of this material has been identified as laurel wilt tolerant after multiple field inoculations and was propagated for further studies. The University of Florida (UF) has its own variety collection at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), likewise obtained from different sources.