Fruiting hybrids are reported for the first time between the genera Citrus L. and Citropsis (Engl.) Swing. & M.Kell. Conventional hybridization using the recently described species Citrus wakonai P.I.Forst. & M.W.Sm. and Citropsis gabunensis (Engl.) Swing. & M.Kell. resulted in high rates of fruit set and seed formation. Although seed were only half normal size, over 90% germinated without the need for embryo rescue techniques. Plant losses were high during the first few months but after six months, the 327 surviving hybrids were potted on. These grew vigorously on their own roots and 35 of them flowered within two years of sowing. Plants flowered continuously but all were pollen-sterile and ovaries abscised shortly after petal fall. However, at 25 months, two newly flowering hybrids began setting fruit. The development, identification, morphology, breeding efficiency, and future implications of this unique germplasm are described.
Malcolm W. Smith, Debra L. Gultzow, and Toni K. Newman
Malcolm W. Smith, Mark D. Hoult, and Jeremy D. Bright
Low yields and high harvesting costs are long-standing problems in mango (Mangifera indica L.) cultivation. In an effort to increase productivity in the scion 'Kensington Pride' we examined the impact of nine different rootstocks over a 10-year period. Rootstock effects on fruit production were significant in most seasons, and cumulative yields (nine seasons of cropping) for the best treatment ('Sg. Siput') exceeded those of the poorest treatment ('Sabre') by 141%. Yield efficiencies (expressed on both a trunk cross-sectional area and canopy silhouette area basis) were also significantly affected by rootstock. Rootstock effects on yield and yield efficiency were generally consistent across seasons, despite large seasonal variations in yield. Harvest rates were also influenced by rootstock, and were poorly correlated with tree size. These results demonstrate possibilities for manipulating mango scion productivity through rootstock genotype.
Malcolm W. Smith, Jeremy D. Bright, Mark D. Hoult, Richard A. Renfree, Tony Maddern, and Neil Coombes
Despite an abundance of polyembryonic genotypes and the need for rootstocks that improve scion yield and productivity, simultaneous field testing of a wide range of mango (Mangifera indica L.) genotypes as rootstocks has not previously been reported. In this experiment, we examined the growth and yield of ‘Kensington Pride’ on 64 mango genotypes of diverse origin during the first four seasons of fruit production to identify those worth longer-term assessment. We also recorded morphological characteristics of seedlings of 46 of these genotypes in an attempt to relate these measures to subsequent field performance. Tree canopy development on the most vigorous rootstocks was almost double that on the least vigorous. Growth rates differed by more than 160%. Cumulative marketable yield ranged from 36 kg/tree for the lowest yielding rootstock to 181 kg/tree for the most productive. Yield efficiency also differed markedly among the 64 rootstocks with the best treatment being 3.5 times more efficient than the poorest treatment. No relationship was found between yield efficiency and tree size, suggesting it is possible to select highly efficient rootstocks of differing vigor. Two genotypes (‘Brodie’ and ‘MYP’) stood out as providing high yield efficiency with small tree size. A further two genotypes (‘B’ and ‘Watertank’) were identified as offering high yield efficiency and large tree size and should provide high early yields at traditional tree spacing. Efforts to relate the morphology of different genotype seedlings to subsequent performance as a rootstock showed that nursery performance of mango seedlings is no indication of their likely behavior as a rootstock. The economic cost of poor yields and low yield efficiencies during the early years of commercial orchard production provide a rationale for culling many of the rootstock treatments in this experiment and concentrating future assessment on the top ≈20% of the 64 treatments. Of these, ‘MYP’, ‘B’, ‘Watertank’, ‘Manzano’, and ‘Pancho’ currently show the most promise.
Andrew K. Miles, Malcolm W. Smith, Nga T. Tran, Timothy A. Shuey, Megan M. Dewdney, and André Drenth
Citrus black spot is an important fungal disease of citrus resulting in fruit drop and rind blemish in tropical and subtropical production areas. The disease is incited by the fungus Phyllosticta citricarpa (McAlpine) van der Aa (synonym: Guignardia citricarpa Kiely), with control currently relying on the application of fungicides. Because the presence and expression of resistance is poorly understood, we sought to develop a method for inoculating fruit in the field that gives reproducible symptoms of citrus black spot consistent with natural field infection. We subsequently validated this method by screening 49 citrus accessions and characterized their qualitative expression of citrus black spot symptoms. Challenge inoculations were undertaken with a known isolate of P. citricarpa, and control fruit were inoculated with water or the endophyte P. paracapitalensis Guarnaccia & Crous. Our results showed that all mandarin, sweet orange, lemon and papeda types were susceptible; pummelo, lime, and sour orange types expressed immunity; while various hybrids were susceptible, resistant and immune. Hybrid progeny from crosses using pummelo [Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr.] as a parent showed preliminary evidence of segregation for citrus black spot immunity. The implications of these results to achieve genetic improvement for citrus black spot resistance in citrus breeding programs are discussed.