Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura
Print version ISSN 0100-2945
POMMER, Celso Valdevino and BARBOSA, Wilson. The impact of breeding on fruit production in warm climates of Brazil. Rev. Bras. Frutic. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.2, pp. 612-634. ISSN 0100-2945. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-29452009000200043.
Brazil is a very large country with a diverse climate. This fact allows a diversity of plants to grow ranging from tropical rainforest in the Amazon, passing through Atlantic Forest along the coast, the cerrados (Brazilian savannah) in the Central West region, and semi-arid area in the Northeast. Latitude ranges from 5º N to 33º S, with most of this territory in the tropical region. There are enough reasons to plant breeders devoting great amount of their effort to improve plants suitable for warm climates, though. Among fruit crops, results of breeder's work have been noticed in several species, especially on peaches, grapes, citrus, apples, persimmons, figs, pears and others not so common, such as acerola, guava, annonas (sour sop, sugar apple, atemoya, cherimoya) and passion fruit. Peach tree introduced at low latitude (22 ± 2ºS) requires climatic adaptation to subtropical conditions of low chilling. In Brazil, the first peach breeding program aiming adaptation of cultivars to different habitats was developed by Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC) beginning in the end of the 40's. Apple low chill requirement cultivars obtained in a South state, Paraná, are now been planted at low latitudes. Banana and pineapple breeding programs from Embrapa units along the country are successfully facing new sanitary problems. Petrolina/Juazeiro, in the Northeastern region (9ºS), is the main grape exporting region with more than 6,000 ha. Grape growing in the region is based in the so called "tropical" rootstocks released by IAC, namely: IAC 313 'Tropical', IAC 572 'Jales'. Recently, Embrapa Grape and Wine released tropical grape seedless cultivars that are changing table grape scenario in the country.
Keywords : temperate fruits; tropical fruits; tropical and subtropical climates; productivity.