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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF FRUIT CROPS THROUGH FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS AND BREEDING

Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Title: The present state of research and exploitation of biotech (GM) crops in horticulture: results of research on plum cv. 'HoneySweet' resistant to plum pox virus (Sharka) and the deregulation of this cultivar in the CR & Europe

Authors
item Polak, Jaroslav -
item Kumar, Jiban -
item Krska, Boris -
item Ravelonandro, Drnovwska -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Gentically modified (GM) crops were grown world-wide on 160 million ha in 2011. Only 114.57 ha of GM crops were grown in Europe, of that, 114.90 ha were Bt maize and 17 ha were potato for industrial starch production. Commercialization of Biotech crops started in 1995. Currently, developing countries account for close to 50 percent of global Biotech crop production. The USA is the lead producer of Biotech crops with 69 million ha, 43 percent of global. GM soybean remains the dominant crop, followed by Bt maize, cotton, and canola. Golden Rice is advancing towards the completion of it regulatory requirements. Not only field crops, but also horticultural transgenic crops are under development and are beginning to be commercialized. Genetic engineering has the potential to revolutionize fruit tree breeding. The development of transgenic fruit cultivars is in progress. Over the past 20 years, an international public section research team has collaborated in the development of 'HoneySweet' plum which is highly resistant to Plum pox virus (PPV), the most devastating disease of plum and other stone fruits. 'HoneySweet' was deregulated in the USA in 2010. 'HoneySweet' (aka, C5) has been evaluated for ten years (2002-2011) in a regulated field trial in the Czech Republic for resistance to PPV, Prune dwarf virus (PDV), and Apple chloritic leaf spot virus (ACLSV), all serious diseases of plum. Even under high and permanent infection pressure produced through grafting, PPV has only been detected in 'HoneySweet' trees in several leaves and fruits situated close to the point of inoculum grafting. The lack of infection spread in 'HoneySweet' demonstrates its high level of PPV resistance. Co-infections of PPV with PDV and/or ACLSV had practically no influence on the quantity and quality of 'HoneySweet' fruit which are large, sweet, and of high eating quality. In may respects, they are superior to fruit of the well-known cultivar 'Stanley'. Many fruit growers and fruit tree nurseries in the Czech Republic are supportive of the deregulation of 'HoneySweet" plum to help improve plum production and control the spread of PPV.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014