Grupo La Caña and Eurosemillas organized and carried out an event in which researchers specializing in genetics from the University of California in Riverside presented the avocado varieties that are being studied within the Green Motion knowledge platform. This platform brings together leading companies in the production and marketing of avocado and the University of California in Riverside to accelerate innovation in the production of subtropical products.
Mary Lu Arpaia and Eric Focht, genetic researchers from the University of California at Riverside, were in charge of the conference. Arpaia is a professor at the University of California at Davis, and she has been working on the pre-harvest and post-harvest of subtropical fruit, especially citrus and avocado, for 35 years. In addition, she has worked for more than two decades in the avocado variety production program. Eric Focht began working with Dr. Mary Lu in 1999. Focht has focused his work on the physiology of fruits and trees, as well as the maintenance and expansion of the germplasm bank collection, with 230 different types of avocados. Currently, he is finishing his Ph.D. in avocado oil maturation and quality under different environmental conditions.
At the event, the researchers spoke about the goals of the Green Motion platform creation project, and the first results of the research carried out by geneticists at the University of California. The attendees learned about the varieties that might complement the well-known Hass avocado. These varieties adapt to different geographical areas and weather. They are well adapted to the new production models, in which the smallest trees with higher planting densities and with lower water requirements prevail, and allow offering the markets that take into account the reduction of the water and carbon footprint a more sustainable crop.
The goal is to advance in the search for varieties that have a similar skin color, taste, and size to the Hass avocado and that can be harvested before or after the Hass variety to complement it and expand the sector's commercial window. We are also working on finding a pollinator with green skin and a rough appearance, and even a medium-sized gourmet variety with a spectacular taste.
The farmers that attended the event, and that have farms between the Tropical Coast of Granada, Malaga, and Cadiz, valued positively the obtaining of new varieties and the search for patterns to improve the behavior of the main variety against the Phytophthora, water scarcity, or the salinity of some cultivation areas, among other issues.