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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pecan Genetics and Cultivar Development

Location: Crop Germplasm Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Produce improved pecan scion cultivars and rootstocks by making controlled crosses, collecting tree performance data, and integrating this data into a large central database used to make selection decisions and determine heritability of important genetic characteristics.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Crosses between pecan clones are made, seed are planted, and seedling trees are initially grown in the greenhouse. Scions are collected from these small trees and grafted or budded to large pollarded trees in the orchard. As these scions produce nuts, they are evaluated for tree growth habit, leaf health, and nut samples are collected. The very best clones from this initial selection phase are selected to test in the advanced testing program. After 15 years in this phase, the best clones are released to growers as improved cultivars with Native American names. Data are also used to determine heritability of important genetic characteristics. Some superior clones may also be released as improved rootstock parental material, based upon superior growth, mineral uptake ability, and general tree health.


3.Progress Report

This is a new project that replaced 6202-21000-029-0lS, continuing and expanding upon the work of the precursor project. The goal of this project is to evaluate large numbers of pecan types for desirable productivity traits, including nut production, nut quality, and insect and disease resistance, with emphasis on pecan scab disease. Work during FY 2010 focused on the Basic Breeding Program (BBP) of the National Pecan Genetics and Breeding Program, with about 16,000 seedlings in various stages of evaluation. Almost 1,300 nut samples from these BBP clones were analyzed and the data added to the master BBP data base. Superior selections identified by project work were entered into the National Pecan Advanced Clone Testing System (NPACTS) at several national sites to determine adaptability to specific environments. A major test was established in FY 2010 at College Station, Texas, that involved grafting 35 clones on well established rootstocks. Data and performance information from several NPACTS tests from all over the U.S. were analyzed by the project in FY 2010; the data obtained was added to master NPACTS databases. High performing, high quality selections identified by the work of this project, and by work of the parent project, will be made available to pecan growers worldwide when released as new ARS/state pecan cultivars having Native American names. The ADODR of this project and the cooperator are located in close physical proximity and are in contact with one another on an ongoing basis. The ADODR and the cooperator (or key personnel working under the cooperator) meet to discuss the direction and progress of the project on a regular basis.


Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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