The status of mango cultivars, market perspectives and mango cultivar improvement for the future

N. Ledesma, R.J. Campbell
Red-skinned cultivars continue to dominate commercial export in the Western Hemisphere, relying heavily on their eye-appeal in the consumer marketplace; the Eastern Hemisphere relies predominantly on yellow-skinned mangos represented by a wide range of cultivars. The predominant cultivars in the Western Hemisphere remain ‘Tommy Atkins’, ‘Ataulfo’, ‘Kent’, ‘Keitt’ and ‘Haden’. The success of the ‘Ataulfo’ within the marketplace is based on its distinction from other cultivars (yellow-skinned), its superior shelf-life and eating quality. In the Eastern Hemisphere ‘Alphonso’, ‘Kesar’, ‘Dusheri’, ‘Langra’ and ‘Totapuri’ among others from India and Pakistan; ‘Nam Doc Mai’ from Thailand; and ‘Carabao’ from the Philippines dominate the exports. Growers, exporters and importers, marketers and retailers are looking for alternatives for the Asian, European and United States market. ‘Palmer’ has been planted in the Americas for over 70 years and is gaining favor due to eye-appeal and eating quality. Volumes are small but increasing and if concerns over proper picking and handling can be addressed, production will increase. Cultivars such as ‘Edward’, ‘Mallika’, ‘Kheio Savoy’ and ‘Nam Doc Mai’ are grown and test marketed based on their superior flavor, but realistic commercial yields are low (23-45 kg tree‑1; 50-100 lb tree‑1) and there are challenges in harvest, handling and shipping (Campbell et al., 2005). In the Eastern Hemisphere ‘Shelly’ and ‘Çalypso’ have been planted and successfully marketed on a small scale in the past decade. India and Pakistan have dozens of cultivars under testing for export, but must first overcome the challenges of production, handling and shipping. New and older alternative mango cultivars are available, but they must be tested across a range of climatic zones. This is a long term project, but will avoid the large-scale planting of cultivars that are not suited for an area and also will help to determine the longevity of a cultivar in the market. Rootstocks/scion interactions can also be tested in this way and will become increasing necessary as the grower returns continue to decline in mango. Breeding programs around the world have labored to create new cultivars for the mango industry and are based on sound breeding and selection criteria; yet, increased effort must be made to include field production criteria, such as tree size, natural disease tolerance of the bloom, young and mature fruit, flavor, productivity and commercial yield efficiency. The opportunity for breeding improvement in the mango is significant and interspecific of Mangifera indica and related species are in process at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Ledesma, N. and Campbell, R.J. (2019). The status of mango cultivars, market perspectives and mango cultivar improvement for the future. Acta Hortic. 1244, 23-28
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1244.3
mango improvement, diversity, cultivars, genetic resources

Acta Horticulturae