Location: Crop Germplasm Research
Project Number: 3091-21000-035-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2009
End Date: Jul 31, 2014
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.
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.