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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314849

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR INSECT PESTS OF ORCHARD CROPS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: California avocados in Florida? Finding the perfect avocado for production in East-Central Florida

Author
item Pisani, Cristina - University Of Florida
item Ritenour, Mark - University Of Florida
item Stover, Ed
item Plotto, Anne
item Gutierrez, Osman
item Kuhn, David

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2015
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Citation: Pisani, C., Ritenour, M.A., Stover, E., Plotto, A., Gutierrez, O.A., Kuhn, D. 2014. California avocados in central Florida? Finding the perfect avocado for production in east-central Florida. In: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 127:131-134.

Interpretive Summary: Most avocados consumed in the U.S. are imported. Avocados with good fruit quality and horticultural traits may provide a useful alternative crop in east-central Florida and possibly in other locations throughout the state. A group of seedlings of ‘Hass’, the primary avocado of commerce, were tested at the USDA-ARS Subtropical Horticulture Research Laboratory, Miami, Florida, and those that were proven pollinated by the variety ‘Bacon” were planted in Fort Pierce at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Research Laboratory. Data on tree growth, flowering, and fruit quality is being collected for a genetic study, but trees are also being evaluated as potential new cultivars. During the first year of data collection, six selections were identified with promising fruit quality and good postharvest characteristics. These selections were tested in an informal taste panel consisting of 10 judges, with commercial ‘Hass’ avocado serving as the standard. Each panelist was asked to rate the samples and select the top four ranking samples. The ‘Hass’ standard ranked first or second in every panelist's ratings, but all tested materials were not rated significantly different from each other, suggesting they all could be commercially acceptable. The top three selections were chosen to be included in future plantings in the Indian River area to identify superior performers in this region.

Technical Abstract: Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a high-value fruit where most U.S. consumption is supplied using imported product. Cultivars with good fruit quality and horticultural traits may provide a useful alternative crop in east-central Florida and possibly in other locations throughout the state. A portion of a population of ‘Hass’ x ‘Bacon’ and its reciprocal cross verified at USDA-ARS Subtropical Horticulture Research Laboratory, Miami, Florida was planted in Fort Pierce at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Research Laboratory for a genetic mapping study. Extensive phenotypic data on tree growth, flowering, and fruit quality is being collected over the next three years. During the first year of data collection, six selections were identified with promising fruit quality and postharvest shelf life characteristics. These selections were tested in an informal taste panel consisting of 10 judges, with commercial ‘Hass’ avocado serving as the standard. This likeability study is preliminary as part of a bigger study planned for the future consisting of a trained group of at least 50 panelists. Each panelist was asked to rate the samples and select the top four ranking samples. The ‘Hass’ standard ranked first or second in every panelist's ratings, but all tested materials were not rated significantly different from each other, suggesting they all could be commercially acceptable. The top three selections were chosen to be included in future replicated Indian River trials to identify superior performers in this region.