To augment a narrow genetic base in papaya, this study aimed to evaluate the performance of new hybrids produced by Caliman Agrícola® S.A. The experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design, with 12 treatments four replications and ten plants per plot. The treatments were the variety THB and the hybrids were CR1 × São Mateus, CR1 × 72/12, CR2 × São Mateus, CR3 × São Mateus, CR1 × Maradol, CR2 × Sekati, CR3 × Maradol, CR1 × UENF/Caliman 01, CR3 × Sekati, CR1 × SSAM and Baixinho (dwarf) × Pecíolo Curto (short petiole). Ten hermaphroditic plants per plot were evaluated at 8 and 12 months after transplanting. Data were recorded for sixteen characteristics related to morphology of plants and biometry of fruits harvested at maturity stage II (fruit with up to 25% yellow skin). The analysis of variance and the subsequent Scott-Knott’s mean clustering test showed significant differences between cultivars for all the characteristics. The characteristic soluble solids grouped the variety THB and five medium-sized hybrids with potential for exploitation: CP1 × UENF/Caliman 01, Baixinho × Pecíolo Curto, CP1 × 72/12, CP1 × SSAM, and CP1 × São Mateus. The estimated average yield of marketable fruits in 12 months grouped the two hybrids with the highest averages: CP3 × Sekati and CP2 × Sekati. The analysis of the new hybrids revealed interesting productivity and fruit quality characteristics, suggesting that they should undergo value for cultivation and use (VCU) testing for future release as commercial hybrids.
Key words: Carica papaya L., plant breeding, genetic variability.
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