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Varieties/Breeding

2012 Research

Since 2010 there has been an on-going process of critical review and change to production research funded by the California Avocado Commission (CAC). A number of changes to the system and process of production research have occurred that has set strategic goals and addressed weaknesses in the system. The most notable changes have been to improve the accountability of the research contracts and to place the research efforts in a multi-year context with well-defined objectives and milestones to be met as the research projects are conducted.

2011 Research

Ultimately, the control of Phytophthora root rot (PRR) of avocado will be accomplished with resistant rootstocks. Our goal is to find rootstocks that will eliminate Phytophthora cinnamomi as a serious pathogen on avocado. Our ability to find such rootstocks has been enhanced as a result of our breeding blocks where we focus on crossing already resistant rootstocks. Our objectives over the life of this project have been to collect, select, breed and develop avocado germplasm that exhibits resistance to Phytophthora root rot of avocado.

Traditional breeding approaches are used for the development of new avocado cultivars. In these approaches, fruit/seed are selected from cultivars with favorable

The goal of the avocado scion breeding program is to help maintain and enhance the California avocado industry by introducing consistently heavier producing, high-quality avocado varieties, better pollinizer varieties, and to test improved rootstock hybrids. This is achieved through identification of material which is less prone to alternate bearing and more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions. Additionally identifying varieties with a more upright tree structure will assist in high density tree management schemes.

2010 Research

Ultimately, the control of Phytophthora root rot (PRR) of avocado will be accomplished with resistant rootstocks. Our goal is to find rootstocks that will eliminate Phytophthora cinnamomi as a serious pathogen on avocado. Our ability to find such rootstocks has been enhanced as a result of our breeding blocks where we focus on crossing already resistant rootstocks. Our objectives over the life of this project have been to collect, select, breed and develop avocado germplasm that exhibits resistance to Phytophthora root rot of avocado.

This 3-year project, funded jointly by the UC Discovery Program and the CAC, is approaching the end of its final year. It was designed to identify genetic markers that track the nutritional composition of avocado fruit (“nutritional phenotypes”) for implementation via marker-assisted selection. The discovery of candidate genes and development of SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers is complete, though additional markers are expected from

The goal of the avocado scion breeding program is to help maintain and enhance the California avocado industry by introducing consistently heavier producing, high-quality avocado varieties, better pollinizer varieties, and to test improved rootstock hybrids. This can be achieved through identification of material which is less prone to alternate bearing and more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions. Additionally identifying varieties with a more upright tree structure will assist in high density tree management schemes.

2008 Research

Ultimately, the control of Avocado root rot will be accomplished with resistant rootstocks. Our goal is to find rootstocks that will eliminate Phytophthora cinnamomi as a serious pathogen on avocado. Our ability to find such a rootstock has been enhanced as a result of our breeding blocks where we focus on crossing already resistant rootstocks. Our objectives over the life of this project have been to collect, select, breed and develop avocado germplasm that exhibits resistance to Phytophthora root rot of avocado.

Research suggests that consumption of avocado has a beneficial effect on human health by virtue of an array of antioxidants, vitamins, lutein, and the cholesterol-lowering and anticarcinogenic properties of β-sitosterol. Improvements in nutrition are “value added” traits that can be patented and sold at a premium. The development of new value added cultivars is important for the success of the California avocado industry.

A formal avocado variety breeding program has existed at the University of California for several decades. The first controlled selections were made in 1937 by J. W. Lesley at UC Riverside, and in 1939 by W.E. Lammerts at UCLA (Lammerts, 1943). Dr. Art Schroeder, was also active in the selection of promising material in the 1930’s and 1940’s and participated in several plant exploration trips to Central America. In the 1950’s the UC hired Dr. Royce Bringhurst (UCLA) to develop new avocado varieties. He was followed after a short tenure by Dr.

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