Interspecific hybrids between Mangifera indica and related species
In Southeast Asia, there is a wide diversity of Mangifera species that bear edible fruit, with 69 taxonomically recognized. Among these species, Mangifera indica is the most important commercial fruit crop. The opportunity for mango breeding improvement is significant, and a new generation of mango is currently under development at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden using interspecific hybrids of M. indica and related species. Four Mangifera species were selected in the first year for classical breeding to improve mango: Mangifera rubrapetala (raba), Mangifera casturi (kastooree), Mangifera lalijiwa (honey mango), and one undetermined Mangifera species ('Rampagni'). In November 2013, the breeding program started with these four Mangifera species and five M. indica cultivars ('Rosigold', 'Totapuri', 'Diamond', 'Osteen' and 'Young'). Two trees (one each of M. indica and Mangifera sp. 'Rampagni') were caged before bloom initiation and remained caged throughout bloom. Honeybee colonies were placed within the cages and allowed to transfer pollen between the two candidate parents. Pollen of the M. indica parent was also introduced into the cages each day. Fifteen fruit from each tree were harvested, evaluated and the seed was planted. Parental DNA analysis was used to confirm that the seedlings were interspecific hybrids. These seedlings will be planted in the field in a meadow orchard to hopefully achieve fruiting within 5-7 years. The objectives are to create new interspecific hybrids that are resistant to and/or tolerant of several major fungal diseases of mangos and to create crops adapted to wider and changing climates, and to flooding, salt, humidity and/or high elevation with desirable fruit quality. New combinations of species and M. indica cultivars are ongoing.
Ledesma, N., Campbell, R.J., Hass, M. and Campbell, T.B. (2017). Interspecific hybrids between Mangifera indica and related species. Acta Hortic. 1183, 83-88