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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Fruit and Nut Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop new stonefruit rootstocks and management practices to control soilborne diseases and nematodes.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Soilborne diseases and nematodes will be investigated by: 1) evaluating stonefruit germplasm on sites infested with soilborne diseases and nematodes; 2) intercrossing and developing selections for further breeding, commercial testing and subsequent release; and 3) testing and evaluating new and novel combinations of chemical and cultural strategies in conjunction with genetic solutions.

3. Progress Report
This research relates to the inhouse objective: Develop improved varieties of peaches and plums for the southeastern United States, and improved clonal and seedling rootstocks for peach and other stone fruits. 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.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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