‘LeahReese’: A New Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa L.) Cultivar

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Tropical Research and Education Center, 18905 S.W. 280 Street, Homestead, FL 33031
  • | 2 Federal University of Roraima (UFRR), Campus Cauamé, BR 174, Monte Cristo, CEP 69304-940, Boa Vista-RR, Brazil
  • | 3 Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), Rod. BR 174, Km 08, Distrito Industrial, CEP 69301-970, Boa Vista-RR, Brazil

Sugar apple is a member of the Annonaceae, indigenous to the Caribbean Islands and lowlands of Central America (Cordeiro, 2000; Pinto et al., 2005). The fruit is grown on a small scale throughout tropical and warm subtropical areas of the world. Major producers include India, Brazil, and the Philippines. Florida has a small (≈13 ha) but expanding sugar apple industry (Crane, 2018). ‘LeahReese’ was a chance seedling evaluated and selected at the University of Florida, IFAS, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL. The fruit has excellent physical and chemical characteristics, and is well adapted to South Florida’s edaphoclimatic conditions. Hand-pollinated fruit are large and symmetric. ‘LeahReese’ has excellent flavor and a very low fiber content.

Origin

‘LeahReese’ was selected from a seedling population at the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center during 2011. The cultivar was obtained from mass selection from progenies of half siblings. After selection, the cultivar was grafted onto sugar apple seedling rootstocks (Annona squamosa L.) by the full-slit method and evaluated under the edaphoclimatic conditions of Miami–Dade County (lat. 25°30'40.809"N, long. 80°30'3.983"W) (Fig. 1). The 0.15-ha ‘LeahReese’ orchard is 3.8 m above sea level, with a limestone-based crushed rock soil (Krome very gravelly loam; loamy skeletal, carbonatic, hyperthermic Lithic Udorthents) (Ali et al., 2000; Noble et al., 1996). The climate is characterized as marine subtropical with a mean annual temperature of 23.7 °C, a mean annual maximum of 28.9 °C, a mean annual minimum of 18.6 °C, and 1512 mm of annual rainfall (National Weather Service Forecast Office, 2018). Daylength ranges from 10 h 33 min to 13 h 43 min, with an annual average of 249 d with sun. Trees were planted in 2012 and spaced 6.1 m in row by 4.6 m between rows. Sugar apple trees are deciduous and, in South Florida, the rate of leaf abscission increases during cool fall and winter weather and disease pressure. Four years after planting, the trees were pruned annually at new shoot emergence each March. Pruning consisted of removing dead shoots, one-half to two-thirds of all long shoots, removal of all small (<1 m) lateral shoots, and selective removal of crossed and upright limbs. From 2016 to 2018, trees were fertilized annually with 8–3–9 (four 1.8-kg applications) and 0–0–22 (two to three 1.4- to 1.8-kg applications) of Rainbow®, five to seven foliar minor element sprays of KeyPlex350®, and three soil drenches of Sequestrene 138® iron. The orchard was irrigated with a high-volume overhead system (≈6.4 mm/h) one to two times per week from flowering to the end of the harvest period. Pest control included periodic applications of Pyganic® to control the Annona seed borer (Braephaeloides cubense), and Abound® (azoxystrobin) and Manzate Pro-Stik™ (mancozeb) to prevent various forms of fruit rot.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(A) ‘LeahReese’ trees, (B) fruit in-tree, (C) fruit weight, (D) longitudinal diameter, (E) transversal diameter, and (F) pulp with seeds.

Citation: HortScience horts 56, 10; 10.21273/HORTSCI16070-21

Sugar apples are aggregate fruit and the flowers are hermaphroditic, apocarpous, and exhibit a protogynous flowering system (Gottsberger, 2012; Kishore et al., 2012). The numerous and centrally located carpels are subtended by numerous stamens. In Florida, natural pollination is affected by nitidulid beetles and results in 0% to 10% fruit set (Nadel and Peña, 1994). This is a result of the highly variable and unreliable nitidulid population during the flowering period (Costa et al., 2017; Jenkins et al., 2015). Without hand-pollination, fruit set of ‘LeahReese’ is usually less than 0.1% (Crane, 2018). Furthermore, incomplete pollination results in asymmetric tuberculate fruit, which is of limited marketability (Lau et al., 2017; Moura et al., 2019). Therefore, during the late-April-through-June flowering period in 2017 and 2018, ‘LeahReese’ flowers were hand-pollinated during the morning. Hand-pollination resulted in 98% fruit set and symmetric fruit.

Description

Tree size is medium, ≈2.5 m in height by ≈2.5 m in diameter, with a globose canopy at 4 years (Fig. 1). Leaves are deciduous, green, and lanceolate; acute at the base and acuminate at the apex; and 5 to 17 cm in length and 3 to 7 cm in width, with an acuminate apex. Flowers are green and emerge on new growth from 1- to 3-year-old wood and are held singly or in clusters of two to three. In general, one flower is larger and more vigorous than the others; small flowers rarely set commercially viable fruit. Flowers are green, 1.0 to 3.0 cm in length, and have three sepals above three fleshy petals. During the early to late morning, the gynoecia are viable and may be recognized by the slightly open petals and sticky secretion atop the stigmatic surfaces (Kishore et al., 2012; Lau et al., 2017; Nadel and Peña, 1994). By early morning on day 2, the numerous stamens dehisce pollen and may be recognized by the fully reflexed petals. In general, by day 2, the stigmatic surfaces have dried and are no longer viable. Subsequently, the nonpollinated flowers abscise whereas the petals and anthers abscise in pollinated flowers.

Forty mature ‘LeahReese’ fruit were harvested from 2017 and 2018 and held at room temperature (≈25 °C and ≈45% relative humidity) until ripe. Hand-pollinated ‘LeahReese’ fruit are symmetric and broadly cordate, with a mean longitudinal diameter of 119.52 mm and an equatorial diameter of 116.21 mm (Table 1). The peel is mamillated (pronounced protrusions). Mean fruit mass was 638.73 g, peel mass was 282.14 g, and seed mass was 39.30 g, with a mean of 90 seeds. Compared with other sugar apples, ‘LeahReese’ is generally larger (Crane et al., 2016; Moura et al., 2019, 2021; Neto et al., 2010; Pinto et al., 2005; Silva et al., 2007). The fruit has an mean of 50.43% pulp, 25.48 °Brix, a pH of 5.01, an acidity of 0.228 g citric acid/40 g of pulp, and a °Brix-to-acid ratio of 119.04 (Table 1). At maturity, the peel is light green, with the individual areoles slightly separated and faintly outlined in yellow-white. As the fruit ripens, the areoles continued to separate and the pulp softens (Fig. 1). The pulp is creamy white, with almost no sclereids (stone cells), and it contrasts with the brown seeds. The pulp had a sweet, subacidic, excellent flavor. Ripe fruit may be stored for 3 to 5 d at 5 to 10 d before losing quality.

Table 1.

Mean physical and physicochemical characteristics of the fruit of sugar apple (Annona squamosa L.), cultivar LeahReese.

Table 1.

In general, ‘LeahReese’ fruit are significantly larger and have a greater °Brix value and percentage of pulp content compared to most other described seedlings and cultivars (Bomfim et al., 2014; Brandão and Santos, 2016; Pinto et al., 2005). This is, in part, because of hand-pollination. However, fruit of comparable quality from natural pollination have been observed (Crane, 2018).

The previous description is based on the International Board of Plant Genetic Resources descriptors for cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) (Bioversity International and CHERLA, 2008).

Availability

‘LeahReese’ is not patented and limited budwood may be obtained from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Tropical Research and Education Center, 18905 SW 280 Street, Homestead, FL 33031.

Literature Cited

  • Ali, A., Abtew, W., Horn, S.V. & Khanal, N. 2000 Temporal and spatial characterization of rainfall over Central and South Florida J. Amer. Water Resour. Assoc. 36 833 848 doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb04310.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bioversity International and CHERLA 2008 Descriptors for Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) Bioversity International, Rome, Italy; CHERLA Project Malaga, Spain

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bomfim, M.P., Dias, N.O., Souza, I.V.B., José, A.R.S. & Pires, M.M. 2014 Yield, physicochemical characteristics of pinecone (Annona squamosa L.) as a function of the number of fruits per plant Rev. Iberoam. Tecnol. Postcosecha 15 1 6

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brandão, E.A.P.M. & Santos, D.Y.A.C 2016 Nutritional value of the pulp of different sugar apple cultivars (Annona squamosa L.) 195 214 Simmonds, M.S.J. & Preedy, V.R. Nutritional composition of fruit cultivars. Academic Press San Diego, CA doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-408117-8.00009-X

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cordeiro, M.C.R. 2000 The cultivation of pinecone, fruta-do-conde or sugar apple in Brazil Circ. Téc. Embrapa Cerrados 9 52

  • Costa, M.S., Silva, R.J., Paulino-Neto, H.F. & Pereira, M.J.B. 2017 Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian Cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators PLoS One 12 1 14 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171092

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crane, J.H. 2018 Tropical fruit production in Florida: Trials, tribulations and opportunities Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 131 ix xii

  • Crane, J.H., Balerdi, C.F. & Maguire, I. 2016 Sugar apple growing in the Florida home landscape

  • Gottsberger, G. 2012 How diverse are Annonaceae with regard to pollination? Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 169 245 261 doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2011.01209.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jenkins, D.A., Millan-Hernandez, C., Cline, A.R., McElrath, T.C., Irish, B. & Goenaga, R. 2015 Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Annona squamosa × Annona cherimola) in Puerto Rico using commercial lures and food attractants J. Econ. Entomol. 108 1923 1929 doi: 10.1093/jee/tov136

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kishore, K., Shukla, A.K., Babu, N., Sarangi, D.N. & Patanayak, S. 2012 Pollination biology of Annona squamosa L. (Annonaceae): Evidence for pollination syndrome Scientia Hort. 144 212 217 doi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2012.07.004

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lau, J.Y.Y., Pang, C.-C., Ramsden, L. & Saunders, R.M.K. 2017 Stigmatic exudate in the Annonaceae: Pollinator reward, pollen germination medium or extragynoecial compitum? J. Integr. Plant Biol. 59 881 894 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12598

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moura, E.A., Chagas, P.C., Chagas, E.A., Oliveira, R.R., Siqueira, R.H., Taveira, D.L.L., Araújo, W.F., Araújo, M.R. & Grigio, M.L. 2019 Influence of seasonality in the production and quality of Annona squamosa L. fruit of different sizes HortScience 54 1345 1350 doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI14116-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moura, E.A., Chagas, P.C., Oliveira, R.R., Taveira, D.L.L., Grigio, M.L. & Araújo, W.F. 2021 Determination of the harvest time of sugar apples (Annona squamosa L.) in function of carpel interspace Acta Sci. Agron. 43 2 10 doi: 10.4025/actasciagron.v43i1.48732

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nadel, H. & Peña, J.E. 1994 Identity, behavior, and efficacy of nitidulid beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) pollinating commercial Annona species in Florida Environ. Entomol. 23 878 886 doi: 10.1093/ee/23.4.878

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • National Weather Service Forecast Office 2018 Miami–South Florida

  • Neto, M.L.M., Bezerra, J.E.F., Lederman, I.E. & de Assis, J.S. 2010 Effect of hydrogenated cyanamide associated with chemical manual defoliation on the floral induction of pine trees (Annona squamosa L.) Pesq. Agropec. Pernamb 15 45 50

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noble, C.V., Drew, R.M. & Slabaugh, J.D. 1996 Soil survey of Dade County Area, Florida Natural Resource Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture Washington, DC

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pinto, A.C.D.Q., Cordeiro, M.C.R., Andrade, S.R.M., Ferreira, F.R., Filgueiras, H.A.C., Alves, R.E. & Kinpara, D.I. 2005 Annona species International Centre for Underutilised Crops, University of Southampton Southampton, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silva, J.C.G., Chaves, M.A., São José, A.R., Rebouças, T.N.H. & Alves, J.F.T. 2007 The influence of mulching in relation to physical and chemical characteristics of the sugar apple (Annona squamosa L.) Rev. Bras. Frutic. 29 287 291 doi: 10.1590/S0100-29452007000200019

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Contributor Notes

J.H.C. is the corresponding author. E-mail: jhcr@ufl.edu.

  • View in gallery

    (A) ‘LeahReese’ trees, (B) fruit in-tree, (C) fruit weight, (D) longitudinal diameter, (E) transversal diameter, and (F) pulp with seeds.

  • Ali, A., Abtew, W., Horn, S.V. & Khanal, N. 2000 Temporal and spatial characterization of rainfall over Central and South Florida J. Amer. Water Resour. Assoc. 36 833 848 doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb04310.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bioversity International and CHERLA 2008 Descriptors for Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) Bioversity International, Rome, Italy; CHERLA Project Malaga, Spain

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bomfim, M.P., Dias, N.O., Souza, I.V.B., José, A.R.S. & Pires, M.M. 2014 Yield, physicochemical characteristics of pinecone (Annona squamosa L.) as a function of the number of fruits per plant Rev. Iberoam. Tecnol. Postcosecha 15 1 6

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brandão, E.A.P.M. & Santos, D.Y.A.C 2016 Nutritional value of the pulp of different sugar apple cultivars (Annona squamosa L.) 195 214 Simmonds, M.S.J. & Preedy, V.R. Nutritional composition of fruit cultivars. Academic Press San Diego, CA doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-408117-8.00009-X

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cordeiro, M.C.R. 2000 The cultivation of pinecone, fruta-do-conde or sugar apple in Brazil Circ. Téc. Embrapa Cerrados 9 52

  • Costa, M.S., Silva, R.J., Paulino-Neto, H.F. & Pereira, M.J.B. 2017 Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian Cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators PLoS One 12 1 14 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171092

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crane, J.H. 2018 Tropical fruit production in Florida: Trials, tribulations and opportunities Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 131 ix xii

  • Crane, J.H., Balerdi, C.F. & Maguire, I. 2016 Sugar apple growing in the Florida home landscape

  • Gottsberger, G. 2012 How diverse are Annonaceae with regard to pollination? Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 169 245 261 doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2011.01209.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jenkins, D.A., Millan-Hernandez, C., Cline, A.R., McElrath, T.C., Irish, B. & Goenaga, R. 2015 Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Annona squamosa × Annona cherimola) in Puerto Rico using commercial lures and food attractants J. Econ. Entomol. 108 1923 1929 doi: 10.1093/jee/tov136

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kishore, K., Shukla, A.K., Babu, N., Sarangi, D.N. & Patanayak, S. 2012 Pollination biology of Annona squamosa L. (Annonaceae): Evidence for pollination syndrome Scientia Hort. 144 212 217 doi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2012.07.004

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lau, J.Y.Y., Pang, C.-C., Ramsden, L. & Saunders, R.M.K. 2017 Stigmatic exudate in the Annonaceae: Pollinator reward, pollen germination medium or extragynoecial compitum? J. Integr. Plant Biol. 59 881 894 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12598

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moura, E.A., Chagas, P.C., Chagas, E.A., Oliveira, R.R., Siqueira, R.H., Taveira, D.L.L., Araújo, W.F., Araújo, M.R. & Grigio, M.L. 2019 Influence of seasonality in the production and quality of Annona squamosa L. fruit of different sizes HortScience 54 1345 1350 doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI14116-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moura, E.A., Chagas, P.C., Oliveira, R.R., Taveira, D.L.L., Grigio, M.L. & Araújo, W.F. 2021 Determination of the harvest time of sugar apples (Annona squamosa L.) in function of carpel interspace Acta Sci. Agron. 43 2 10 doi: 10.4025/actasciagron.v43i1.48732

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nadel, H. & Peña, J.E. 1994 Identity, behavior, and efficacy of nitidulid beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) pollinating commercial Annona species in Florida Environ. Entomol. 23 878 886 doi: 10.1093/ee/23.4.878

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • National Weather Service Forecast Office 2018 Miami–South Florida

  • Neto, M.L.M., Bezerra, J.E.F., Lederman, I.E. & de Assis, J.S. 2010 Effect of hydrogenated cyanamide associated with chemical manual defoliation on the floral induction of pine trees (Annona squamosa L.) Pesq. Agropec. Pernamb 15 45 50

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noble, C.V., Drew, R.M. & Slabaugh, J.D. 1996 Soil survey of Dade County Area, Florida Natural Resource Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture Washington, DC

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pinto, A.C.D.Q., Cordeiro, M.C.R., Andrade, S.R.M., Ferreira, F.R., Filgueiras, H.A.C., Alves, R.E. & Kinpara, D.I. 2005 Annona species International Centre for Underutilised Crops, University of Southampton Southampton, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silva, J.C.G., Chaves, M.A., São José, A.R., Rebouças, T.N.H. & Alves, J.F.T. 2007 The influence of mulching in relation to physical and chemical characteristics of the sugar apple (Annona squamosa L.) Rev. Bras. Frutic. 29 287 291 doi: 10.1590/S0100-29452007000200019

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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