The Western grower's perspective on mango breeding.
Campbell R. J., Ledesma N.
Author Affiliation: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, The Fairchild Farm, 14885 SW 248 St., Homestead, FL 33032, USA.
Abstract : The current status of the Western Hemisphere's commercial export market, with regard to cultivar, is a predominance of 'Tommy Atkins', 'Ataulfo', 'Kent', 'Keitt' and 'Haden'. All of these cultivars were selected from open-pollinated seedlings. All except 'Ataulfo' were subjected to years of screening by hobbyists and scientists familiar with mango growing and horticulture in their region of selection. Breeding programs around the world have labored to create new cultivars for the mango industry, and are based on sound breeding and selection criteria; yet, increased effort must be made to include field production criteria into the breeding and selection of mango cultivars. Tree size potential must be included in selection, as fruit quality and production practices are closely linked to the size that a cultivar can be maintained in the field. Smaller size potential of the tree will allow for higher density planting and more efficient and cheaper orchard management practices. Suitability for alternative markets, field disease tolerance and economic yield potential must also be given more weight. The final step in the selection of any potential new selection should be the small commercial test blocks across a range of climate zones.