High Density Planting for Avocado Production; A Chilean Perspective
California avocado growers face several challenges to maintain a high production level and remain competitive in the marketplace. Rising price of irrigation water, salt toxicity, shortage of qualified labor and pests and diseases are some of the major challenges that limit the profitability and competitiveness of our industry. To remain profitable growers must reach the highest productivity with the lowest cost of production per lbs. One business model is to increase productivity per acre by planting trees at a higher density.
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Avocado Cultivars, Botanical Races and Genetic Footprints
Evidence of avocado selection by human hand as far back as 8,000 BC is preserved in archaeological sites in Puebla State, Mexico. At the time of European contact, written records indicate that there already existed three distinct types of avocado, each from a separate geographic center of origin. Today, we refer to them as botanical races, and they represent the “primeval soup” that gave rise to modern avocado cultivars. Here is what we know about the three botanical races of avocado, respectively called (1) the West Indian (formerly known also as the South American), (2) the Guatemalan, and (3) the Mexican (also known as the “criollo”).
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Leveraging the Genomic Landscape of Avocado for Breeding Purposes
Advances in molecular tools already have led to the development of large numbers of genetic markers distributed across the avocado genome. These markers are being put to good use, many forming the basis for projects to inventory avocado germplasm repositories and, in our own case, to create a pathway toward marker-assisted selection.
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