Avocado consumption over the past few years has significantly increased worldwide. More and more people are taking advantages of the many benefits this fruit has. Chile has the second most consumption of avocado per person worldwide - at 7 kilos annually per capita.

In Chile, avocado is cultivated in the central zone of the country, with almost 30,000 hectares planted. In this zone, there are several limiting conditions for its culture, such as problems with replant disease, root asphyxia, and salinity (especially sodium chloride) in both soil and irrigation water, among others.

On the other hand, in Chile traditionally the main commercial propagation system used is the grafting on seedling rootstocks. This system produces high heterogeneity in the nursery plants, which causes high variability also in orchards, specially on those located on hillsides. As a solution to this problem, clonal rootstocks of avocado emerges as an alternative for Chile.

Several trials developed by the staff of the Propagation Laboratory of Agronomy school from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso-Chile, showed that the clonal rootstock under the Chilean conditions allowed to increase the productivity between 20 to 60 % additional and the fruit size for exporting quality in 20%. Also, the clonal rootstock allowed to reduce alternative bearing index.

Prof Mónica Castro ValdebenitoMonica Castro Valdebenito

Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile

Mónica Castro Valdebenito, agronomist, M Sc, professor of the Department of Plant Propagation of the school of Agronomy of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. Monica's area of specialization is the propagation of plants, especially of subtropical fruit species. Since 2002 she has directed the program of selection, propagation and evaluation of rootstocks of avocado in different edaphoclimatic conditions of Chile. Between 2007 and 2011 she was president of the International Avocado Society and has integrated the scientific Committees of different congresses in her specialty. Monica has directed more than 60 undergraduate thesis and 10 postgraduate thesis, which have been published in journals with editorial committee.

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Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


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