Mango hybridization was reported from Hawaii in the 1920s, but no outstanding problem appears to have been addressed or solved (Pope, 1929). A number of crosses have been reported in Florida (Young and Ledin, 1954; Sturrock, 1969), but all of the Florida cultivars are chance seedlings and none came from controlled pollinations.


There is an extensive breeding programme in Israel aimed at producing higher yielding cultivars with good quality, attractive fruit and with longer harvest periods. Several hundred seedlings from open and controlled pollinations have been evaluated, and 14 of them have been identified as being of interest (Lavi et al., 1993). The rootstock breeding programme is aimed at developing rootstocks resistant to or tolerant of soil stresses, i.e. calcareous soils, saline irrigation water and heavy non-aerated soils that predominate in the mango-growing regions of Israel. Several interesting monoembryonic and polyembryonic rootstocks have been selected (Lavi et al., 1993), but none has performed better than '13-1', the currently preferred rootstock in Israel (Gazit and Kadman, 1980).


A breeding programme to develop a new cultivar which retains the characteristic flavour of 'Kensington', but with improved productivity, greater disease resistance, enhanced skin colour and better postharvest performance, was initiated in Queensland, Australia. These features are found in many Florida cultivars (i.e. 'Irwin', 'Sensation' and 'Tommy Atkins') which are being used as maternal parents in crosses with 'Kensington' (Whiley et al., 1993). Promising hybrids have been identified in crosses involving 'Sensation', for example 'Calypso'™ (see Knight et al., Chapter 3, this volume). 'Calypso'™ has increased shelf life, firmer fruit, extra blush for cosmetic appeal, a higher flesh-to-seed ratio and consistent yields of high-quality fruit. The Australian mango breeding programme was strengthened since 1994 by launching a major effort involving various organizations located in different agro-climatic zones in hybrid production, as well as regional testing.


Breeding has been initiated in the tropical savannah of Brazil to develop cul-tivars that are dwarf and with good quality fruit. Hybridizations have involved local, Indian and Florida cultivars. 'Amrapali' and 'Imperial' were good male parents to confer dwarfing in the progeny (Pinto and Byrne, 1993). Out of 2088 seedlings in the field, 209 seedlings were selected in the first year and 42 of these were later identified as promising, from which four have been released as new cultivars (Pinto et al., 2004). These four are: 'Alfa' ('Mal-lika' x 'Van Dyke'), which is semi-dwarf, high yielding and regular bearing; 'Beta' ('Amrapali' x 'Winter'), high yielding and moderately resistant to anthracnose and Oidium; 'Roxa' ('Amrapali' x 'Tommy Atkins'), with excellent fruit quality; and 'Lita' ('Amrapali' x 'Tommy Atkins'), high yielding with excellent fruit quality.

South Africa

The South African breeding programme at the Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Institute (CSFRI) is based on introductions, open-pollination and mass selection. Four new cultivars have been released: 'Heidi', 'Neldawn', 'Neldica' and 'Ceriese'. In addition, 12 promising selections have been identified for further evaluation (Marais, 1992).

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