Valinia INIA, a New Early Storage Onion Variety for Central South Chile
González A,María Inés
In Central South Chile, storage onion varieties (Allium cepa L.) sold domestically usually begin the maturation process in March, which implies that a large proportion of bulbs do not mature adequately and do not resist prolonged storage. This situation led the Quilamapu vegetable program of the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias INIA to select an early maturing onion variety. This breeding method involved a recurrent selection with free plant crossing that began in 1994 on a population of 2000 plants of the ’Valenciana’ commercial variety. Plants were first selected when they reached physiological maturity (tops down before 28 February), and then for shape, size, storage capacity, and single-centered bulbs. The result of the program was ’Valinia INIA’, a type of Valenciana onion variety: early maturing, medium-sized bulb, spherical, yellow, and resistant to sprouting during storage. From the 2001-2002 to the 2008-2009 season, variety assays were carried out to compare ’Valinia INIA’ with commercial cultivars, i.e., ’Sintética 14’, ’Grano de Oro’, and ’Valenciana Cobra’. ’Valinia INIA’ precocity exceeded the other varieties in all seasons with a mean of 1.5 wk ahead of ’Sintética 14’, which is the earliest commercial variety and more than 2 wk ahead of the other two. Its yield is similar to ’Valenciana Cobra’ and higher than the other two varieties. Its storage capacity is similar to ’Grano de Oro’ and ’Sintética 14’, but greater than ’Valenciana Cobra’.