2005 Annual Report
1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter?
California is the major producer of stone fruit and grapes valued at over $1,290 million. The fruit is shipped long distances to Eastern or export markets. Large volume and low fruit prices received at local markets and areas of production make stone fruits and grapes less profitable. Cultivars suitable for shipment with high quality fruit and a range of maturity to supply fruit in distant markets over a long period, meeting customer demand are needed. A breeding program to develop new cultivars that combine good eating quality, better shipping and storage ability, attractive appearance, and early to late ripening is being used to reduce shipping loss and increase consumption of stone fruit and grapes. In addition, seedless grapes that have naturally large berry size are being developed to reduce production cost and provide the seedless grapes that customers want. California produces the majority of raisins, valued at over $160 million. Major portions of the raisin crop have been lost to rain and rot during late picking due to shortage of labor and late ripening cultivars. Unavailability of labor, fall rains, and high disease pressure result in high production costs, poor quality fruit, and loss of production. Large amounts of chemicals are used to control disease on grapes, but this increases production costs and adds unwanted chemicals to the environment, and in some years the chemicals are ineffective. The development of germplasm and cultivars suitable for mechanical harvest with early ripening and resistance to powdery mildew and Pierce's disease will reduce these problems. Better selection methods to identify desirable individuals and genetic information about inheritance of resistance is urgently needed to make development of improved cultivars successful. Soil pests such as nematodes reduce the production of grapes and stone fruit causing whole orchards or vineyards to be removed. Soil fumigants are only partially effective, contaminate the environment, and are being phased out. The development of resistant rootstocks will afford great savings to the growers and reduce the use of pesticides. Almost 90% of the total US apricot acreage and tonnage are being produced in California. Fresh and processed apricot industries are valued at $50 million annually. These industries are based on only a few apricot cultivars that all ripen within a four week period of time. Therefore, harvested apricots must be packed, sorted, or processed within a very short timeframe. The development and evaluation of new apricot selections and cultivars suitable for cultivation in California growing regions will expand the harvest beyond the current four week period, producers would be able to expand the marketing period of fresh apricots. Newly developed industrial apricots for the important processing markets (drying, canning, freezing) that differ in ripening period from existing cultivars can assist in the operation efficiency of processing plants. Hybridizations between complementary apricot accessions are made to provide progenies that will extend the apricot season of fruit maturity both early and late.
The project has three specific objectives:.
1)to develop scion cultivars of stone fruit, almonds and grapes for fresh market and for dehydration with high quality and storage ability,.
2)to develop disease and pest resistant Prunus and Vitis scions and rootstocks,.
3)to develop genetic information to facilitate selection and enhance breeding efficiency.
The research to be undertaken falls under:
National Program 301 Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics and Genetic Improvement, addressing Component IIb - Genetic Improvement. More specifically the goals are: to increase shipping and storage life, fruit quality; combat losses due to pests, diseases, environmental stress; and increase production efficiency in Prunus and Vitis. Also, develop more rapid and efficient identification and incorporation of useful genes into crop germplasm.
This research also contributes to National Program 303 Plant Diseases, addressing Component V Host Plant Resistance to Disease. Specifically the goals are: to develop cultivars resistant to diseases, specifically powdery mildew, Pierce's disease, and nematodes.
New improved stone fruit and grape cultivars with high quality, shipping, storage and production efficiencies will sustain/profit American agriculture (many of them family farms), and supply high quality, nutritious fruits and nuts to US consumers and international markets. Raisin cultivars that dry naturally on the vine and can be mechanically harvested will revitalize the industry. Genetically-based control of pests and diseases that is effective and environmentally acceptable will contribute to the ongoing economics and productivity of stone fruit and grape production systems. Development of molecular markers and a better understanding of the genetic control of horticulturally important traits will allow early selection of progeny bearing desirable traits and improve breeding strategy for quantitative traits.
2.List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan.
Year 1 (FY2004)
1.1 Hybridize apricots, evaluation of seedlings and advanced selections. Introduction of K713-98 apricot for the processing markets.
1.2 Field planting of new potential self-compatible almond hybrids from homozygous dominant sweet-kernel accessions.
1.3 Hybridize seedless grapes and recover plants by embryo rescue.
1.4 Hybridize seedless grapes and recover plants by embryo rescue. Collect data from advanced DOV trial and Zante Currant type DOV trial.
2.1 Harvest of seedlots from peach almond mother trees, preparation for planting trials. Write description of size controlling rootstocks.
2.2 Hybridize seedless table and raisin grapes with powdery mildew or Pierce's disease resistant germplasm. Recover plants by embryo rescue. Collect fruit data on populations for molecular marker studies.
2.3 Analyze grape seedling populations for phylloxera resistance segregation.
3.1 Continue analysis of the Sf allele in Tuono was transferred out of the unit.
3.2 Identify molecular markers for seedless trait in California grapes was transferred out of the unit.
3.3 Collect grape leaf samples and extract DNA from one family segregating for phylloxera resistance.
3.4 Produce larger group of Friar X Helena progeny.
Year 2 (FY2005)
1.1 Propagate best stone fruit selections for advanced trials.
1.2 Completion of first round of bagging trials of almond seedlings segregating for self-compatibility and kernel bitterness.
1.3 Plant table grape seedlings in field.
1.4 Plant raisin grape seedlings in field.
2.1 Completion of bloom evaluations of male-sterile peach almond hybrid mother trees relative to Flordaguard, Nemared and Tsukuba No. 4. Release size controlling rootstocks to nurseries.
2.2 Screen seedlings in greenhouse for resistance. Plant seedlings in field and train. Test for correlation of markers with fruit traits and resistance.
2.3 Prepare manuscript on phylloxera resistance and submit for publication.
3.3 Screen grape population segregating for phylloxera resistance with molecular markers.
3.4 PCR analyze Friar X Helena progeny.
Year 3 (FY2006)
1.1 First evaluations of apricot populations for enhanced drying.
1.2 Identification of all bitter-kernel accessions in existing almond populations segregating for self-compatibility.
1.3 Train table grape seedlings in the field.
1.4 Train raisin grape seedlings in the field.
2.1 Rootstock seedling growth uniformity and vigor trials conducted.
2.2 Evaluate fruiting resistant grape seedlings. Propagate best for use as parents.
3.3 Evaluate candidate markers for phylloxera resistance.
Year 4 (FY2007)
1.1 Submit best advanced stone fruit selections for virus indexing.
1.2 Selection of self-compatible seedling with acceptable kernel qualities, propagation for field trials.
1.3 First fruit and evaluation of table grape seedlings.
1.4 First fruit and evaluation of raisin grape seedlings. Summarize data from DOV trials.2.1 Advanced rootstock selections tested with commercial nursery for evaluation, graft compatibility studies.
2.2 Backcross selections to fruit quality. Recover plants by embryo rescue.
3.3 Analyze marker data for phylloxera resistance.
Year 5 (FY2008)
1.1 Prepare written descriptions of stone fruit selections for release.
1.2 Kernel sampling of advanced self-compatible selections for Almond Board of California evaluations.
1.3 Propagate and plant best table grape selections in 25 vine cultural trial.
1.4 Propagate and plant best raisin grape selections in advanced trial. Prepare manuscript on DOV trials and submit for publication.
2.1 Establishment of nursery trees for comparison of experimental rootstocks with commercial standards.
2.2 Screen grape seedlings in greenhouse for resistance. Plant seedlings in field and train.
3.3 Prepare manuscript on markers for phylloxera resistance.
4a.What was the single most significant accomplishment this past year?
'Scarlet Royal' and 'Autumn King' table grapes were released to the industry.
Breeding and evaluation efforts in the Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research Unit have lead to the release of 'Scarlet Royal' and 'Autumn King' table grape varieties for fresh market production. The table grape industry needs improved seedless table grapes to fill gaps in the production season so there is an uninterrupted flow of fresh grapes to the market. 'Scarlet Royal' was released as a mid-season red seedless grape with large berries to fill the gap between Flame Seedless and Crimson seedless while 'Autumn King' was released as a very late ripening white seedless grape with very large berries to extend the season after the Thompson Seedless. These varieties will be used immediately in the grape industry and have the potential to become major varieties with estimates of over 6.8 and 1.3 million boxes produced annually within 10 years from 'Scarlet Royal' and 'Autumn King' respectively.
4b.List other significant accomplishments, if any.
'Kettleman' apricot - The California apricot industry needs new and improved varieties to fill market gaps and stay competitive in a global marketplace. Breeding and evaluation efforts in the Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research Unit have lead to the release of 'Kettleman' apricot for fresh market production. This new early-season apricot was released for propagation because of its consistent yields of large, deep orange fruit with exceptional postharvest characteristics. Fruit of the new apricot variety are resistant to the cracking associated with rain during fruit development. Fruit ripening of 'Kettleman' occurs during a window when no other varieties are ripening. The release of 'Kettleman' apricot should have a positive impact in the apricot industry due to its adaptation to the warm growing regions of the San Joaquin Valley and its high fruit quality.
4c.List any significant activities that support special target populations.
See Appendix A.
5.Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact.
1.1 Kettleman apricot introduction - Fruit from this newly introduced apricot variety ripen during a gap in production between other major early-season apricot varieties. As such, Kettleman apricot will impact stone fruit growers positively by providing a high quality apricot variety during an open production window. Budwood of this new apricot has been distributed to interested commercial stone fruit nurseries in the USA and abroad. During the fruit development period, Kettleman resists rain induced fruit cracking that leads to reduced marketable yields. The outstanding postharvest shelf-life of Kettleman makes it suitable as an export apricot. Together, these characteristics will ensure variety acceptance by stone fruit growers. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.1 Apache apricot introduction - Apricots of this newly introduced variety provide enhanced quality attributes compared to the presently available apricot varieties during the same ripening season. Budwood has been distributed to all the major domestic commercial stone fruit nurseries for propagation, and it has further been distributed to interested growers as well. Apache apricot extends the marketing season of apricot by having mature fruit available approximately 5 days before the presently available earliest variety. Approximately 80 acres of Apache have been planted in the last year. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.1 Galaxy peach variety introduction-Budwood was released to commercial tree fruit nurseries and growers. Peaches of this newly introduced variety provide novel shaped fruit (peento or flat shaped) with better size, color, and sweetness than the cultivar currently available. This variety will help enhance commercial peach production and availability of this shape peach to consumers. Over 50,000 trees have been produced by nurseries since its introduction. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.2 Self-compatible almonds - Hybridizations of California-adapted almond accessions with the Spanish self-compatible 'Tuono' variety has led to new self-compatible almond accessions. 'Tuono' differs greatly in kernel quality as compared to the almonds typical of California production. The new self-compatible hybrids are more like the California-adapted parent and at present, four self-compatible accessions are being trialed commercially in the south San Joaquin Valley. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.3 Scarlet Royal table grape variety introduction-This variety was released to the grape industry to provide a mid-season, red seedless grape with sweet neutral flavor and large berries for the fresh market. It fills a gap in the season between Flame Seedless and Crimson Seedless. Propagation rights have been assigned to the California Table Grape Commission and Scarlet Royal will find immediate use in the table grape industry and has the potential to become a major variety. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.3 Autumn King table grape variety introduction-This variety was released to the grape industry to provide a late season, white seedless grape with very large berries for the fresh market. It extends the season after Thompson Seedless. Propagation rights have been assigned to the California Table Grape Commission and Autumn King will find immediate use in the table grape industry and has the potential to become a major variety. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.3 Sweet Scarlet table grape variety introduction-This is a mid-season red seedless grape with a light muscat flavor and it was released to the grape industry and propagation rights assigned to the California Table Grape Commission. Muscat flavored grape production is limited to one seeded cultivar Italia and it has fallen from 164,690 boxes produced in 1997 to 88,049 boxes in 2000. It is likely that Sweet Scarlet production will fill this market. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
1.3 Thomcord grape variety introduction-It was made available to grape growers and homeowners. The release will allow California growers to produce a seedless Concord flavored grape adapted to California. It has an immediate place in farmers markets. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
2.1 K146-43 and P30-135 plum x peach rootstock variety introductions-These rootstocks confer moderate vigor control to peach scions. They were developed and patented jointly with the Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA. Plant material has been made available to nurseries for commercial propagation. These rootstocks have the potential to reduce grower production costs by reducing the use of ladders and the time needed to prune, thin and harvest. Action Plan component NP301 IIb.
6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Kettleman apricot's introduction in January 2005 stimulated interest among apricot growers and commercial nurseries. Limited quantities of dormant budwood were distributed to commercial nurseries interested in establishing mother trees of 'Kettleman.' Grower visits to the ARS SJVASC orchard in Parlier, CA during the early apricot season were an effective way to demonstrate the quality attributes of this new ARS apricot. Initial grower interest in 'Kettleman' has led to the propagation of 5,000 trees by a commercial nursery. Trees of 'Kettleman' will be planted by interested growers during Jan-Mar 2006.
Propagation rights to Scarlet Royal and Autumn King table grape varieties have been assigned to the California Table Grape Commission who has sublicensed them to nurseries for propagation and sale. The nurseries will begin making plants available the summer and fall of 2005.
7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
1. ARS breeder releases trio of plums to fill marketing windows. The Grower. Feb. 2005. p 13.
2. Labor costs may be reduced. . . Research yields size-controlling rootstocks for peach production. California Agriculture 59:80-83. DeJong, T. M., R. S. Johnson, J F. doyle, and D. Ramming.
1. California Rare Fruit Growers, San Jose chapter. 4 June 2005. 'Apricot breeding with ARS in the San Joaquin Valley,- past, present and future'. Ledbetter, C. A.
2. CSUF Grape Day. 10 Aug. 2004. Breeding Powdery Mildew and Pierce's Disease Resistant Grapes. Ramming, D. W. and M. A. Walker.
1. Ryan, F. J., and Ledbetter, C. A. Using molecular markers to facilitate breeding almonds for self-fertility. Almond Board of California annual meeting. 2 December 2004. Modesto, CA.
2. Ramming, D. W. Greenhouse Screening of Grape Rootstock Populations to Determine Resistance to Phylloxera. International Grape Genome Symposium. 13 July 2005. St. Louis, MO. (Poster).
3. Badr, S. A., J. Tufenkjian and D. W. Ramming. 2005. Effects of pruning, girdling, and gibberellic acid application at bloom and berry set on yield and fruit quality of Sweet Scarlet table grape cultivar. ASEV 56th Annual Meeting. p47.
4. Ryan, R. J. and D. W. Ramming. 2005. Application of a molecular marker for berry seed size to two populations of grapevines (Vitis species) developed in a breeding program. ASHS Annual Meeting.
5. Ramming, D. W. Sweet Scarlet, Scarlet Royal, Autumn King and Promising Table Grape Selections. San Joaquin Valley Table Grape Seminar. 23 Feb. 2005.
6. Ramming, D. W. Pierce's disease grape breeding program. Citrus Research Board Biotech Conference. 27-29 April 2005.
7. Vizzotto, M., D Byrne, L. Cisneros, D. Ramming, and W. R. Okie. Total phenolics, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and antioxidant content of peach and plum genotypes. ISHS meeting. Chile. January 2005.
1. Ledbetter, C. A., and Peterson, S. J. 2004. Utilization of Pakistani apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) germplasm for improving Brix levels in California adapted apricots. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter No. 140: 14-22.
2. Ledbetter, C. A. 14 January 2005. Notice to fruit growers and nurserypersons of the release of 'Kettleman' apricot. (Variety release).
3. Ramming, D. W. 2005. 'Galaxy' peach. HortScience.
4. Ramming, D. W. 2005. Notice to fruit growers and nurserymen of the release of 'Scarlet Royal' grape. (Variety release).
5. Ramming, D. W. 2005. Notice to fruit growers and nurserymen of the release of 'Autumn King' grape. (Variety release).
6. Ramming, D. W. 2005. Greenhouse Screening of Grape Rootstock Populations to Determine Resistance to Phylloxera. International Grape Genome Symposium Proceedings. 12-14 July 2005. St. Louis, MO.
Gu, S., Ramming, D.W. 2005. Viticultural performance of syrah grapevines on new USDA-ARS rootstock for winegrape production in the San Joaquin Valley. [Abstract] American Society of Enology and Viticulture 56th. Annual Meeting. p. 50.
Gu, S., Ramming, D.W. 2005. Viticultural performance of thompson seedless grapevines on new USDA-ARS rootstock for raisin production in the San Joaquin Valley. [Abstract] American Society of Enology and Viticulture 56th Annual Meeting. p.51.
Byrne, D., Vizzotto, M., Cisneros-Zevallos, L., Ramming, D.W., Okie, W.R. 2004. Antioxidant content of peach and plum genotypes [abstract]. Hortscience. 39(4):798