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CTA. 2003. Rust-resistant coffee. Spore 104. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47903
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore104.pdf
A spontaneous hybrid of robusta and arabica coffee plants has been discovered in New Caledonia in the western Pacific
A spontaneous hybrid of robusta and arabica coffee plants has been discovered in New Caledonia in the western Pacific. It is noted for its strength of taste, fertility and resistance to the Hemileia vastatrix rust. Coffee cultivation started in New Caledonia in 1878, but was abandoned because of a failing economy and the sensitivity of arabica plants to rust. The plantation areas lived on, however, and the two species Coffea canephora (which provides robusta coffee, resistant to rust) and Coffea arabica jointly developed a spontaneous hybrid. The old plantations thus took on a second lease of life as a centre for natural plant diversification. The French development research institute IRD has conducted several prospecting campaigns to seek out these resistant hybrids, renowned also for their productivity and quality. The most interesting find so far has been a hybrid quite similar to the Laurina species (also known as Le Roy or the Pointed Bourbon), which is an arabica with a high quality taste and aroma, and low in caffeine. It is resistant to rust and, unlike some other hybrids, has a good yield. At present, the IRD is studying 2,500 young plants which have been collected with the agreement of the authorities in the southern province of New Caledonia. In the long term, they could serve to improve the taste of other varieties and to combat rust. Daniel Le Pierrès IRD BP 64501 34394, Montpellier Cedex 5 France Fax : +33 467 416 330 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org