2012 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.
Hand and bee 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 and a new collaborator trial was established in Alabama. New root-knot nematode trials were established at locations in GA and 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).
Research conducted under a Trust Agreement between ARS and the South Carolina Crop Improvement Association completed for disease resistance and horticultural evaluations on the first group of plum hybrid and plum x peach hybrid rootstock selections bred in this program. Several items stand out as potential candidates for industry use and one was released in 2011 for commercial trial. Evaluations are continuing and the scaling up of materials to support expected release(s) is progressing.
Substantial progress was achieved in working out a clonal propagation protocol for MP-29 rootstock which will facilitate it’s progression into large scale commercial production of finished trees for the SE peach industry. One nursery has developed a efficient tissue culture protocol as well. All three of the large commercial nurseries serving the SE peach industry have executed licensing agreements. First commercial sales of trees propagated on MP-29 will commence this Fall.
Beckman, T.G. 2011. Progress in developing Armillaria resistant rootstocks for use with peach. Acta Horticulturae. 903:215-220. Reighard, G.L., Beckman, T.G., Belding, R., Black, B., Cline, J., Cowgill, W., Godin, R., Johnson, R.S., Kamas, J., Kaps, M., Larsen, H., Lindstrom, T., Ouellette, D., Pokharel, R., Stein, L., Taylor, K., Walsh, C., Ward, D., Whiting, M. 2011. Performance of Prunus rootstocks in the 2001 NC-140 peach trial. Acta Horticulturae. 903:463-468. Beckman, T.G., Chaparro, J.X., Sherman, W.B. 2012. MP-29, a clonal interspecific hybrid rootstock for peach. HortScience. 47(1):128-131.