1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop an innovative breeding system to improve the speed and flexibility to deliver unique plum cultivars to meet future challenges of the California plum industry.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The 'FasTrack' breeding project proposes to deliver an advanced biotechnology to an existing industry supported plum cultivar development program. 'FasTrack' breeding technology will be developed to specifically meet the needs of the California Dried Plum Industry by integrating the system with the major Dried Plum Industry breeding program and targeting traits highly desired by the industry. The 'FasTrack' breeding system under development at USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station is an advanced fruit tree breeding system that uses transgenic early and continually flowering trees to overcome the limitations of juvenility and dormancy, producing the first generation in one year vs. the normal 3-7 years. Unlike conventional breeding, 'FasTrack' crosses will be done in the greenhouse, and only the non-transgenic individuals from segregating populations will be released to the field. Molecular markers will be used to further improve the efficiency of the 'FasTrack' rapid backcross breeding scheme.
3. Progress Report:
Fruit from over 80 California plum cultivars and selections were analyzed a second year for sugar profiles, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, and glucose to determine the variations and extremes. The information was compiled with standard postharvest measurements and pit descriptions. This information will be used to determine the range in variability of these traits for the development of molecular markers to aid selection of desirable types in the 'FasTrack' and in traditional plum breeding programs.