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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 358: International Symposium on Alliums for the Tropics

A NETWORK APPROACH TO ONION VARIETAL EVALUATION IN THE TROPICS

Author:   L. Currah
Abstract:
The development and progress of the Natural Resources Institute's (NRI) programme on onion evaluation in the tropics is described. Contacts with potential collaborators are made through the Tropical Onion Network, created through the Onion Newsletter for the Tropics.

Since 1990, NRI and the Horticulture Research International (HRI) have been sending seed of commercially available short-day onion varieties to collaborators for use in national trials in tropical, subtropical, and a few Mediterranean climates.

Overall, cultivars of the Early Grano and hybrid Granex groups usually produce the highest yields, while cultivars of the Creole type and of Indian stocks are lower yielding in most of the tropical environments from which results have been received. Some cultivars sold under the same name are showing evidence of genetic divergence. Genetic progress towards storage quality improvement in high-yielding yellow-brown onions from Israel has been confirmed. Requirements for high-yielding, red, pungent onions with good storage quality are not yet fully met in the tropics.

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