Genetic divergence in Brazilian varietal pineapple hybrids
Knowledge about the genetic variability of pineapple makes it possible to select characteristics of interest and plan crosses to obtain a promising cultivar for the market. This study aimed at the characterization and genetic divergence of pineapple clones from the crosses: IAC Fantástico x Jupi, BRS Imperial x Pérola, BRS Imperial x Smooth Cayenne and BRS Vitória x Smooth Cayenne. The study was carried out at the State University of Mato Grosso, Tangará da Serra campus crop fields. The municipality (Tangará da Serra) markets the Pérola and Jupi cultivars as fresh fruit. The other cultivars were used to obtain traits of interest. A randomized block design with three replications and five plants per plot was used; 42 characteristics (qualitative and quantitative) were analyzed. Vegetative and inflorescence characteristics were measured at inflorescence initiation. Fruit data was collected after harvesting. Variables were analyzed using the Ward-MLM procedure in the SAS program. Three distinct groups were found among the cross progenies. Individuals in group III had the highest averages for fruit mass with and without crown (1600 and 1486 g respectively), length (19.41 cm) and average fruit diameter (12.06 cm). This is an advantage for the producer, as larger fruits have smaller crowns. It also included individuals without thorns, with fruits of cylindrical shape and yellowish pulp, soluble solids and acidity levels within the recommended range, being the most suitable for fresh consumption. Groups I and II had lower means for the characteristics and were similar to each other. The greatest distance was observed between groups II and III; therefore, it is recommended to cross the best individuals of these groups to explore the heterotic effect and expand the existing genetic variability.