Although the citriculture is one of the most important economic activities in Brazil, it is based on a small number of varieties. This fact has contributed for the vulnerability of the culture regarding the phytosanitary problems. A higher number of varieties/genotypes with potential for commercial growing, either for the industry or fresh market, has been one of the main objectives of citrus breeding programs. The genetic breeding of citrus has improved, in the last decades, due to the possibility of an association between biotechnological tools and classical methods of breeding. The use of molecular markers for early selection of zygotic seedlings from controlled crosses resulted in the possibility of selection of a high number of new combination and, as a consequence, the establishment of a great number of hybrids in field experiments. The Centro APTA Citros Sylvio Moreira / IAC has launched, since 1997, a wide program of genetic breeding of citrus through controlled crosses. Plant populations obtained from hybridization between several varieties, selected by molecular markers, were established in several regions of the São Paulo State resulting in an experimental network for new genotypes. This project proposes to continue the work developed by researchers in the group citrus breeding of the Center APTA Citrus Sylvio Moreira / IAC, in the evaluation of accessions of the Active Germplasm Bank and inter-and intra-specific hybrids in field experiments. The project has as main objective the evaluation of varieties and hybrids of citrus scion and rootstocks for disease resistance, physical and chemical characteristics of fruits in different soil and climatic conditions and management in competition trials with commercial varieties, aiming at the final assessment for release of new varieties.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: