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- Author or Editor: Enrique I. Sánchez-González x
The blooming behavior of the avocado Persea americana Mill. is a sophisticated mechanism that prevents effective self-pollination, enables close pollination, and encourages cross-pollination. However, there is no information on outcrossing rate among Mexican race avocado genotypes (P. americana var. drymifolia Schltdl. & Cham.). Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the outcrossing rate and genetic variability in progenies of Mexican race avocado genotypes by simple sequence repeat (SSR) and intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. SSR marker analysis showed a considerable genetic differentiation among avocado families [total expected heterozygosity (He) = 0.540], whereas the total heterozygosity value observed (Ho = 0.098) showed the presence of genetic structure per family. The total Nei’s unbiased average heterozygosity (nHe) value found with ISSR markers was 0.482. The results of the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) combining both type of markers showed that genetic variation within avocado families was 58.6%, and among families was 41.6% (P < 0.0001). The outcrossing population rate in P. americana var. drymifolia was 0.774 ± 0.091 (sd), and the ‘Criollo 3’ and ‘Plátano Temprano’ families showed the lowest (–0.083 ± 0.031) and highest (0.814 ± 0.060) outcrossing rates, respectively. Variability in outcrossing rate depends on many factors, including edaphoclimatic, agronomic, and genetic, and needs to be considered to define strategies for the conservation and genetic improvement of outstanding native genotypes. SSR and ISSR markers are useful for estimating genetic variability within and among families of avocado, as well as for determining the outcrossing rates among closely related individuals and with a rather small sample size.
Because of the low availability of avocado rootstocks with resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi, it is necessary to search for genotypes that offer resistance and that could be used as commercial rootstocks. The objective of this study was to select progeny from the genotypes of Mexican race avocado plants that are resistant to P. cinnamomi. Seedlings from 12 avocado genotypes were placed in containers inoculated with a mycelial suspension of P. cinnamomi. Signs of disease in the upper part of the seedlings were registered every 3 days for 8 weeks using a visual scale of damage severity. The χ 2 test (P < 0.009) showed significant differences among the genotypes evaluated, with ‘Todo el Año’ being the most resistant, as demonstrated by its rating of 70% asymptomatic seedlings, followed by ‘Plátano’ with 40%. The most susceptible genotypes were ‘María Elena’, ‘Silvestre’, and ‘Hass’, with 100% mortality. Seedling inoculation facilitated the detection of resistance to P. cinnamomi. ‘Todo el Año’ showed resistance toward P. cinnamomi. Therefore, individuals of its offspring could be recommended for use as rootstocks after confirming their resistance with a second evaluation, as well as performing tests in multiple localities to demonstrate their productive behavior after grafting.