Unnatural Selection Significant In Evolution Of Citrus

Humorous take on the theory of evolution for citrusSeveral decades back, UF/IFAS and USDA breeding programs were working in earnest to develop and identify superior breeding stock and ultimately release scion and rootstock varieties with superior traits. The pace of development, evaluation, and release was quite different than today. Many growers were satisfied with the varieties they were growing, resulting in limited demand for new material and lackluster support for variety development efforts. Hamlin, Pineapple, and Valencia served Florida’s processing needs just fine, and Florida dominated the fresh grapefruit and specialty markets. Breeders were pushing varieties through the process.

The dawn of the new century changed everything. HLB arrived, necessitating a reevaluation of all aspects of citrus production. Whether fresh or processed, all growers were under pressure to innovate. Following on the heels of successful Spanish imports, California invested heavily in seedless easy peel clementine and mandarin varieties, changing the American fresh fruit landscape. Suddenly, Florida needed scions, rootstocks, and combinations capable of withstanding HLB, and hopefully, offering new and marketable traits. Working in concert with the breeding programs, New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC) was formed to assist in bringing focus to the process, integrating industry involvement, providing targeted financial support for development projects, and breaking down barriers to success.

Florida’s citrus breeding programs are globally recognized for their productivity, strong pipeline, and future capabilities. Fresh and processed varieties and selections of immediate or potential commercial value are being released and trialed with regularity. There is certainly momentum behind the variety development machine. The next layer of the onion presents unique challenges for Florida, in light of the perfect storm of competitive and disease pressure. With so many variety options, it poses the question: How much is enough? Let’s explore the challenges.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Varieties & Rootstocks Stories
Sugar Belle oranges
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 18, 2017
Unique Citrus Variety Standing Up to Deadly Disease
University of Florida researchers are peeling back the layers to find out what’s helping specific mandarin hybrid hold serve against HLB. Read More
Georgia Citrus Association grove tour meeting
Citrus
April 15, 2017
Georgia Citrus Seeking to Make Its Mark
Florida's neighbors to the north are getting serious about citrus, for good reason. Read More
A.H. Whitmore Farm in Leesburg, FL, as seen from Google Earth
Varieties & Rootstocks
March 16, 2017
Experimental Citrus Groves Disappearing in Florida
Challenges to growth expand as vital research is in dire need of a home. Read More
Cartoon sketch of a citrus seed machine
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Seed
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
'Gold nugget' seedless tangerine
Varieties & Rootstocks
January 18, 2017
5 Florida Citrus Nursery Trends Worth Watching
Gleanings from recent grower gatherings expose opportunities and possibilities in new variety development and management. Read More
Citrus supply chain graphic
Varieties & Rootstocks
December 19, 2016
Finding Weak Links Key to Saving Florida Citrus
Unique supply challenges placing a strain on restoration of the state’s acreage. Read More
UF/IFAS variety display at 2016 Florida Citrus Show
Varieties & Rootstocks
November 29, 2016
Open Forum To Help Put More Florida Citrus On The Fast Track
Growers, nurseries, and industry stakeholders invited to review and discuss pros and cons of rapid release program. Read More
7-6-27 mandarin hybrid orange
Varieties & Rootstocks
November 18, 2016
Florida Citrus Connecting The Dots On Promising New Selections
From modern mandarins, to the latest allure of lemons, progression is palpable. Read More
Graphic illustration of a barometer for citrus
Varieties & Rootstocks
October 19, 2016
How Is The Citrus FAST TRACK Program Faring?
Now that the oldest trees in the rapid evaluation system are two years old, growers are looking for a barometer check on their performance. Read More
illustration showing data taken and recorded on new citrus varieties
Varieties & Rootstocks
September 20, 2016
Is Citrus Ready To Break Out Of The Bubble?
Opportunity for enhanced data collection process at variety display days could give breeding and research teams a leg up in vetting sensible selections. Read More
sweet-orange like hybrid peel
Varieties & Rootstocks
August 22, 2016
Florida Citrus Breeders Squeezed For Time
The pressure is on to develop a more HLB-tolerant orange. Read More
Chuck Allison of Spring Valley Farms inspects a young citrus tree
Citrus
August 18, 2016
Florida Farmer Takes Fresh Approach To Growing Citrus
New easy-peel, seedless varieties offer market potential. Read More
UF/IFAS researcher Fred Gmitter checking mandarin citrus trees
Varieties & Rootstocks
August 15, 2016
Genetic Markers Point Way To Breeding Better Mandarin Oranges
Scientists targeting qualitative and quantitative traits that would take tangerines to a new level. Read More
Citrus variety development white board illustration
Varieties & Rootstocks
July 16, 2016
For Citrus Variety Development, The Drawing Board Is Full
Progress apparent in pipeline of promising sponsored projects. Read More
AgroMillora's new tissue culture facility in Wildwood, FL
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 14, 2016
Florida Citrus Tissue Culture Lab Opens To Great Expectations
Brand new facility to serve as another beacon of hope amid the long shadow of HLB. Read More
The Latest
Varieties & Rootstocks
July 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers Going Inside to T…
Producing fruit under protective screen is developing into a viable option for sustaining the Sunshine State’s signature crop. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
June 19, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking to Strike Citrus…
Varieties showing HLB tolerance giving growers hope, sparking more questions. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 23, 2017
In Quest for Low-Seeded Citrus, It Takes…
Momentum for viable mandarin hybrids for Florida reaching a peak in the land down under. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 18, 2017
Unique Citrus Variety Standing Up to Dea…
University of Florida researchers are peeling back the layers to find out what’s helping specific mandarin hybrid hold serve against HLB. Read More
Citrus
April 15, 2017
Georgia Citrus Seeking to Make Its Mark
Florida's neighbors to the north are getting serious about citrus, for good reason. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
March 16, 2017
Experimental Citrus Groves Disappearing …
Challenges to growth expand as vital research is in dire need of a home. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Se…
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
January 18, 2017
5 Florida Citrus Nursery Trends Worth Wa…
Gleanings from recent grower gatherings expose opportunities and possibilities in new variety development and management. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
December 19, 2016
Finding Weak Links Key to Saving Florida…
Unique supply challenges placing a strain on restoration of the state’s acreage. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
November 29, 2016
Open Forum To Help Put More Florida Citr…
Growers, nurseries, and industry stakeholders invited to review and discuss pros and cons of rapid release program. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
November 18, 2016
Florida Citrus Connecting The Dots On Pr…
From modern mandarins, to the latest allure of lemons, progression is palpable. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
October 19, 2016
How Is The Citrus FAST TRACK Program Far…
Now that the oldest trees in the rapid evaluation system are two years old, growers are looking for a barometer check on their performance. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
September 20, 2016
Is Citrus Ready To Break Out Of The Bubb…
Opportunity for enhanced data collection process at variety display days could give breeding and research teams a leg up in vetting sensible selections. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
August 22, 2016
Florida Citrus Breeders Squeezed For Tim…
The pressure is on to develop a more HLB-tolerant orange. Read More
Citrus
August 18, 2016
Florida Farmer Takes Fresh Approach To G…
New easy-peel, seedless varieties offer market potential. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
August 15, 2016
Genetic Markers Point Way To Breeding Be…
Scientists targeting qualitative and quantitative traits that would take tangerines to a new level. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
July 16, 2016
For Citrus Variety Development, The Draw…
Progress apparent in pipeline of promising sponsored projects. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 14, 2016
Florida Citrus Tissue Culture Lab Opens …
Brand new facility to serve as another beacon of hope amid the long shadow of HLB. Read More