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  • Author or Editor: Ed Stover x
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The citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), is a key pest in most citrus-growing regions worldwide. Adult citrus leafminers oviposit primarily on young elongating flush of Citrus as well as other Rutaceae and some ornamental plants. Larvae feed on the epidermal cell layer of developing leaves and injury to leaves provides a pathway for infection by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Hasse), the causal agent of Asiatic citrus canker. In this study, we quantified abundance of citrus leafminer larvae on progeny of 87 seed parent genotypes of Citrus and Citrus relatives (family Rutaceae) in the field in East–central Florida to identify those that have low abundance of leafminers. Progeny from the 87 parent genotypes varied in abundance of the leafminer. Progeny of 15 parent genotypes had a high mean abundance of more than six leafminers per flush shoot. All but one of these genotypes were in the Citrus genus. Progeny of 16 parent genotypes had zero, or nearly zero, leafminers, but none were from the Citrus genus. However, many of these 16 genotypes were from genera closely related to true citrus (subtribe Citrinae) and are sexually compatible with Citrus. Progeny of two parent genotypes in the subfamily Toddalioideae and Glycosmis pentaphylla (Retz.) Corr. also had a low abundance of leafminer. Glycosmis pentaphylla also is a poor host for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, and has biochemical resistance to the citrus weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.), so this genotype as well as others identified as poor hosts for the leafminer may prove useful in breeding programs aimed at reducing the abundance of multiple insect pests on citrus.

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Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a high-value fruit that continues to increase in consumer demand. A population of ‘Hass’–‘Bacon’ hybrids was planted at USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, as part of a study to find selections with good horticultural and postharvest quality traits for Florida. Extensive phenotypic data on quality were collected over 3 years. Ten selections were identified in 2014 and 2015 with promising fruit quality and postharvest shelf life characteristics and were tested in sensory panels using store-bought ‘Hass’ as the standard. In general, the selections had fruit quality similar to commercial ‘Hass’. Avocados that were most liked were described as creamy in texture with buttery and nutty flavor. Only one selection (R7T54 in 2014) and one store-bought control (‘Hass’ in 2015) were disliked, which was associated with greater firmness at the time of evaluation, likely relating to insufficient postharvest conditioning. Furthermore, CA ‘Hass’ commercial requirements for minimum dry matter (20.8%) were generally achieved by these selections under Florida conditions, ranging from 18.4% to 25.7%. This study identified 10 selections with composition and sensory quality similar to ‘Hass’ that are suitable for further testing and development in Florida.

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