Chilean Grapes Shine the Spotlight on New Botrytis-Resistant Table Varieties
CHILE - Table grapes are receiving a few new options, and the Chilean Consorcio de la Fruta was proud to unveil them at its test orchards in Curacaví.
“It is crucial for the Chilean fruit industry to have new varieties that can reach our more distant markets and also meet the demand for premium quality and flavor,” said Ronald Brown, the President of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), said in a press release. "We are always striving to be more competitive in the international market, so developing varieties with superior flavor and postharvest performance is key.”
Currently being created under the “Table Grape Genetic Improvement Program,” the company unveiled three new strands that are in the last stages of development and could soon become commercial varieties.
“We are presenting three strains – two seedless and one seeded – which are at an advanced stage of development and very close to becoming commercial varieties,” Dr. Patricio Arce from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Program Leader, said in the release. “In addition, we have another seven that are at the pre-selection stage and are currently undergoing evaluation.”
While the strains offer variety, they do share one key feature; a resistance to the damaging fungus Botrytis. This feature sets them apart from other varieties being developed internationally.
The consortium store the fruit in a cold chamber, where they evaluate its behavior as well as going through the process of packing and simulating shipping the product to distant markets. Through all this, the fruit is analyzed to see how it responds.
According to the release, the consortium hopes to have four varieties ready for commercial production by 2018.
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