2013 Annual Report
Parental rootstock lines with superior resistance to peach tree short life and Armillaria root rot as well as other desirable traits, are intercrossed to produce seedlings with the desired characteristics. Extensive testing is used to identify those hybrids which have the requisite combination of disease resistance and horticultural traits for successful commercial use.
In FY 2013 hybridizations were made for the peach breeding programs. Spring bloom time weather this year was much congenial for successful pollinations. Peach seedlings for the collaborative moderate chill variety development program were planted into the field for evaluation. Advanced variety selections nearing completion of evaluations were scaled up in anticipation of impending release(s). Evaluations were made in the high chill variety development program by the newly hired breeder who was assisted by the former incumbent (now retired).
Hand pollinated crosses were made for the rootstock development program. New peach tree short life, Armillaria root rot, and horticultural trials were established at the Byron location. Previously established grower trials at other locations are continuing to be evaluated. New root-knot nematode trials were established with a cooperator in FL. New rootstock selections were made and propagated for further development. Advanced rootstocks selections nearing completion of evaluations were scaled up in anticipation of impending release(s).
Substantial progress has been achieved in working out a clonal propagation protocol for MP-29 rootstock to facilitate it’s progression into large scale commercial production of finished trees for the SE peach industry. Nurseries appear to have a production scheme that will work satisfactorily. Final cost per unit is still uncertain but will undoubtedly drop as nurseries continue to scale up. A second nursery has been licensed to produce tissue cultured plantlets of MP-29 for sale to propagation nurseries. First commercial sales of trees propagated on MP-29 commenced this spring.
The establishment of grower trial blocks has been arranged under the auspices of MTA’s with several commercial growers to further evaluate 25 advanced peach selections that ripen during the commercial shipping season. This will allow them to be evaluated under realistic commercial management protocols. These selections have been observed in the USDA station at Byron, GA for several years. They offer outstanding fruit quality characteristics and superior horticultural performance for use in this region.
This project was replaced by bridging project #6606-21000-003-00D pending completion of the current review process.
Beckman, T.G., Chaparro, J.X., Conner, P.J. 2013. GulfSnow Peach. HortScience. 48:126-127.
Baker, K.M., Chaparro, J.X., Beckman, T.G. 2013. Detection of seed dormancy QTL in three F2 families of peach (Prunus persica). Tree Genetics and Genomes. 9(3):659-668.
Yang, N., Reighard, G., Ritchie, D., Okie, W., Gasic, K. 2013. Mapping quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to bacterial spot (Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni) in peach. Tree Genetics and Genomes. 9:573-586.