Submitted to: Food and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Genetic engineering (GE) has the potential to revolutionize fruit tree breeding and is an important addition to the fruit breeder’s "toolbox". It is an approach that can specifically target genetic improvements and allow for the development of novel, useful traits. In spite of the potential utility of GE for fruit tree improvement, the technology has not, to date, been widely exploited in these species, and no GE temperate fruit species have been released. Plum pox virus (PPV) is a major pathogen of stone fruits that entered the U.S. in 1999 and is the subject of a quarantine and eradication program. We have developed a GE plum clone C5 (cv. HoneySweet) that is highly resistant to PPV through the mechanism of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), also termed RNA silencing. 'HoneySweet' is an example of GE that can be of significant benefit to growers and consumers, one that can also provide unique genetic material for use in conventional breeding programs. The development and testing, including long-term field test data from several countries, and current regulatory status in the U.S. of 'HoneySweet' will be presented.