Avocado Rootstock Breeding Program Conducting Grower Survey
Dr. Patricia Manosalva, director of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) avocado rootstock breeding program, is conducting a grower survey throughout California to identify and learn about the critical challenges avocado growers are currently facing.
The survey results will help shape the goals and objectives of the avocado rootstock breeding program and help Dr. Manosalva identify traits of importance to the avocado industry to screen germplasm from domestic (California, Florida and Hawaii) and foreign collections that contain some of these desirable traits. If the desirable traits are found within material from foreign sources, the program’s goal will be to work toward importing that material to add those traits to the researchers’ domestic breeding stock.
In addition, this survey will help researchers learn about the different cultural practices growers use to manage disease and salinity issues. The information obtained from this survey will aid in developing new tools and information that can be useful to growers for better avocado orchard management, as well as to help design better field plots to test the new rootstock selections from the program. Furthermore, these data will serve as baseline data for the program’s USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative proposal to obtain federal funding to implement genomics-breeding approaches in avocado, in field diagnostic tools, new fungicides to combat phytophthora root rot disease, and new tools based on remote sensing technology to better manage avocado orchards.
California avocado growers are encouraged to complete this brief survey as the data will provide the avocado rootstock breeding program with critical insights that can be used to better address growers’ needs. The survey is available online.