2013 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.
The goal of this project is to evaluate large numbers of pecan accessions for desirable traits, including nut production, nut quality, and insect and disease resistance (primarily scab disease). Work during FY 2013 focused on the Basic Breeding Program (BBP) of the National Pecan Genetics and Breeding Program, with over 8,000 seedlings in various stages of evaluation, and test orchards maintained at worksites in College Station and Brownwood, TX. More than 1,300 nut samples from these BBP clones were analyzed, the data was added to the master BBP data base, and inventory-specific photographic vouchers associated with nut quality samples were digitally archived. As work by this project progresses, new information applicable to the continued development of high yielding, high quality, and improved insect and disease resistant pecan cultivars will be developed.