Agronomic evaluation of a Colombian passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims) germplasm collection
Galeano Mendoza, C.H.
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Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims) is one of the most promissory crops in Colombia with approximately 7,400 ha cultivated, an average production of 89,000 t and an average yield of 15 t ha-1. However, low yields as well as harvest problems including fruit quality, generate important losses, mainly due to lack of improved cultivars with particular characteristics for each market (fresh consumption, agroindustry) and specific adaptations to biotic and abiotic stress factors in producer areas. Therefore, as a pre-breeding phase, this study aimed at characterizing preliminary the production and physiochemical characteristics of 60 passion fruit germplasm accessions maintained in Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (AGROSAVIA). We cultivated these accessions in the field for 22 months between 2014 and 2015, measuring 17 variables associated to both yield production and fruit quality. We analysed data using phenetic and multivariate methods to establish levels of genetic diversity. Additionally, we constructed a selection index (SI) with the most informative variables to select individuals according to fruit weight, shape and colour, as well as juice percentage. Results of genetic grouping and principal components showed a broad genetic diversity across the working collection, without any population substructure. Fruit volume, pulp and seed weight were the variables that explained 80% of the phenotypic variation. Finally, we identified 30 promissory accessions as parental for the first cycle of recurrent selection using the SI. We conclude that this core collection represents the diversity included in the working collection with promissory accessions to initiate an intra-population recurrent selection program.