California avocados in Florida? Finding the perfect avocado for production in east–central Florida

Cristina Pisani, Mark A. Ritenour, Ed Stover, A. Plotto, O. A. Gutierrez, D. Kuhn


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, FL 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. Each panelist was asked to rate the samples for overall liking, 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.


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