Location: Fruit and Nut Research
2011 Annual Report
The development of new rootstocks and management practices for the control of soilborne diseases and nematodes of peach is an urgent need of the southeastern U.S. peach industry. This has become even more apparent with the introduction of Guardian peach rootstock in 1993. Guardian has been widely adopted by the southeastern U.S. peach industry and though it has provided exceptional resistance to peach tree short life (PTSL), it is highly susceptible to Armillaria root rot (ARR) which has now surpassed PTSL as the primary cause of premature peach tree death. The first group of plum hybrid and plum x peach hybrid rootstock selections bred in this program have completed their disease resistance and horticultural evaluations. Several items stand out as potential candidates for industry use and one has been approved for release 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 allow it to progress into large scale commercial production by the nurseries that have traditionally provided seed propagated trees to the SE peach industry.