Maturity and Postharvest Performance of ‘US Early Pride’ Seedless Mandarins

T. Gregory McCollum, C. J. Hearn, Mark Ritenour


‘US Early Pride’ is an early season, seedless mandarin developed and recently released by the USDA, ARS. ‘US Early Pride’ resulted from irradiated budwood of ‘Fallglo’ mandarin in 1991. Trees were produced from the irradiated budwood and planted into the field in 1992. In 1995 a seedless mutant (USDA 1-62-122) was identified and subsequently propagated on multiple rootstocks for evaluation. Based upon horticultural performance of the USDA 1-62-122 trees and fruit quality characteristics, especially the absence of seeds, USDA 1-62-122 was released in 2009 as ‘US Early Pride’. Although ‘US Early Pride’ has been found to be essentially identical to ‘Fallglo’ with the exception of being seedless, detailed studies to document time of maturity and postharvest behavior had not been conducted prior to release. We harvested ‘US Early Pride’ and ‘Fallglo’ fruit at intervals from October through late November and standard fruit quality parameters (size, weight, rind color, total soluble solids, (Brix) and titratable acidity) were quantified for both scions. Data indicate that ‘US Early Pride’ fruit are slightly smaller than ‘Fallglo’. ‘US Early Pride’ and ‘Fallglo’ fruit were both legally mature in early October and maintained acceptable quality on the tree at least until late November. Following harvest, the response to ethylene was similar in ‘US Early Pride’ and ‘Fallglo’. Sugars and acids were fairly consistent in the two cultivars during storage at 10 °C for 3 weeks. Decay and other postharvest disorders did not develop in either cultivar during storage. Our results document that ‘US Early Pride’ is equivalent to ‘Fallglo’ in time of maturity, response to ethylene, and postharvest behavior.


irradiation, tangerine, seedless

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283