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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #434677

Research Project: Development of New Stone Fruit Cultivars and Rootstocks for the Southeastern United States

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Project Number: 6042-21000-005-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 9, 2018
End Date: May 8, 2023

1. Develop new high-chill stone fruit cultivars for main season production areas with improved adaptability, cropping reliability, disease resistance, handling ability, and eating quality. 2. Develop new moderate-chill stone fruit cultivars for early season production areas in the lower coastal plain with improved adaptability, cropping reliability, tree architecture, disease resistance, handling ability, and eating quality. 3. Develop new stone fruit rootstocks with improved disease resistance and a range of vigor control to manage tree size. 4. Determine how the individual genetic components of the pecan genome function collectively to determine priority traits for pecan production such as host-plant resistance to scab disease and floral and fruit development that control alternate-bearing. Expected benefits include more effective pecan genetics research coordinated with the ARS breeding program in College Station, Texas and accelerated release of new scion varieties.

Elite breeding lines and select varieties with appropriate traits will be hybridized and the best hybrid seedlings selected. These selections will be tested for multiple years in several locations to identify those truly superior to existing commercial varieties in terms of cropping reliability, productivity, fruit size, appearance, firmness and eating quality. These superior selections will then be named and released for use by the commercial peach industry. Parental root-stock lines with superior resistance to peach-tree short life, Armillaria root rot and commercially important root-knot nematode species will be intercrossed to produce hybrid seedlings with the desired characteristics. Extensive field testing will be utilized to identify those hybrids which have the requisite combination of disease resistance and horticultural traits for successful commercial utilization the southeastern U.S. peach industry. Best selections will be released for commercial utilization.