Newsletter – Year I – Number III – December, 2022

IAC Herculândia - Multi-resistant rootstock to coffee nematodes.

IAC Herculândia is a cultivar of Coffea canephora resistant to the nematodes Meloidogyne exigua, M. incognita and M. paranaensis, for exclusive use as rootstock of susceptible cultivars of Coffea arabica.

Cultivar IAC 125 RN grafted onto IAC Herculândia rootstock

Losses in coffee production in Brazilian plantations due to parasitism of phytonematodes are estimated at around 20%. Genetic control using resistant cultivars has become a priority, since the perennial nature of the crop reduces the effectiveness of chemical and biological methods in reducing the population of these parasites in the soil and roots.

The susceptibility of the vast majority of the Brazilian arabica coffee park and the simultaneous occurrence of Meloidogyne and Pratylenchus species in several coffee areas in Brazil, guided the improvement of the coffee plant towards the selection of multiresistant cultivars to these parasites.

In a research line of this program, rootstocks of the Coffea canephora species were selected with the collaboration of the Instituto Biológico (IB) and Embrapa Café. The research started with the introduction of exotic germplasm at IAC and with the evaluation, for decades, of clones and progenies of resistant coffee trees of the species Coffea canephora, under laboratory conditions and in field trials installed in infested areas of several coffee producing regions.

Multiresistant and genetically compatible clones were selected based on the high production and the extension of the fruit maturation cycle, as well as the simultaneous resistance of hybrids to the nematodes Meloidogyne exigua, M. incognita and M. paranaensis, giving rise to the cultivar IAC Herculândia.

The cultivar IAC Herculândia refers, therefore, to the set of F1 interclonal hybrids obtained in seed production fields installed with five compatible clones of C. canephora, with the seeds destined exclusively for the use as a rootstock with multiple resistance to root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.), being compatible, in grafting, with different canopy cultivars of C. arabica.

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