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Spanish scientists begin trial to obtain stoneless mangoes

Mango cultivation in Spain is carried out mostly in the province of Malaga, which accounts for 97% of the national production, grown on 4,300 hectares. Almost the entire volume, approximately 90%, is exported to the European Union. The harvesting generally starts between mid and late August with the earliest varieties (Irwin is one of them, along with the Tommy Atkins, both in the open ground). Currently, the harvest of the Osteen greenhouse variety is in full swing. This is the most common variety in the province. The Kent and the Keitt, considered late varieties, will follow. The peak months for Malaga's production are September and October.

It is estimated that there are about 300 commercial varieties in the world. There are differences in terms of shape, exterior color, sweetness, texture, type of pulp (more or less fiber) and stone size. Not all adapt in the same way to different growing areas, because they have different climatic needs. This means that the companies obtaining seeds and the research centers devote great efforts to the search for varieties of commercial interest that are productive, of high quality and that adapt to the different production areas.

One of the leading centers for mango is the Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (IHSM) La Mayora, which has one of the largest mango collections in the EU, with about 80 different varieties from around the world. It carries out all kinds of studies and tests aimed at the improvement of this crop, providing solutions for pests and diseases and even for cultivation techniques.

In the framework of that search for varieties of interest to the producer and the industry, La Mayora has launched a trial aimed at obtaining trees that produce stoneless mangoes. Since the study has just started, several years are still needed to find out how producers from Malaga and other parts of the world could produce stoneless mangoes. To this end, the subtropical fruit growing team of La Mayora, at the head of which is researcher Iñaki Hormaza, is working with diploid and triploid varieties.

In 1992, Indian researchers created a mango variety with a smaller, thinner stone called Sindhu. It was obtained from hybrids of the Ratna and Alphonso varieties.


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