ARS researchers have developed a new plum tree (Prunus domestica), called C5, that resists all major strains of plum pox virus (PPV). PPV is one of the most serious diseases of plums and other stone fruits such as peach and apricot. There is no known cure once a tree is infected. PPV is typically transmitted to trees by aphids. It causes premature fruit drop, and deforms or blemishes fruit making them unmarketable. It can also cause tree death. PPV is a problem throughout Europe, with more than 16 million PPV infected trees, and has recently been reported in India, Egypt, Chile, Canada, and most recently in the United States where control efforts are underway. C5 contains the PPV coat protein gene and marker genes. C5 was derived from Bluebyrd, a commercialized non-transgenic ARS plum variety. Fruit from C5 are of excellent quality. This new plum line represents a unique source of PPV resistance not only for countries currently battling this virus, but also for countries working on preventive strategies for the disease, including the United States. The new transgenic line represents a source of resistance for breeding new high fruit quality, PPV resistant, plum varieties. This new variety will benefit plum growers, particularly those with plum pox virus in their orchards. Fruit breeders will be able to use this technology for developing new varieties.
Please refer to USPN 0,015,154 (Docket #0117.96), Plum Tree Named ‘Honeysweet'," which issued on September 21, 2004.
Appalachian Fruit Research Station
Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430-9425
(304) 725-3451 / Fax: (304) 728-2340