Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research2020 Annual Report
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.
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.
Objective 1. Hybridizations, evaluations, and selections were made by ARS researchers at Byron, Georgia, for the high-chill peach variety development program. Progress was made in the field with varieties and breeding lines that appear less prone to chill inadequacy and spring freeze. Peach seedlings generated in the 2019 pollination season were planted into the field for evaluation. Promising advanced selections nearing completion of evaluations were scaled up in anticipation of impending releases. Three new main-season peach cultivars were released for commercial use. Objective 2. Hybridizations were made by ARS researchers at Byron, Georgia, for the moderate-chill peach variety development program albeit at a reduced effort due to retirement of incumbent. Fruit set was good in plastic covered greenhouse and in field under frost protection shelters. Objective 3. Hand pollinated and bee mediated crosses were made by ARS researchers at Byron, Georgia, for the rootstock development program. New Armillaria root rot and graft compatibility trials were established at the Byron, Georgia, location. Previously established grower trials at other locations are continuing to be evaluated.
1. Release of three new main-season peach cultivars. The southeastern United States peach industry’s shipping market needs improved main-season cultivars that produce large, firm, melting, freestone peaches with yellow flesh, normal acidity, high blush, and pleasant eating quality. Thousands of hybrids are generated annually by ARS researchers at Byron, Georgia, and used in the breeding pipeline for cultivar selection and evaluation. Three new main-season peach cultivars with desired characteristics are released with additional valuable potentials. Two of the cultivars provide improved cropping reliability under suboptimal weather conditions and the third fills a critical gap in the harvest window.
Chen, C., Okie, W.R. 2020. ‘Rich Joy’ Peach. HortScience. 55:4 591-592. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14720-19.
Chen, C., Okie, W.R. 2020. ‘Liberty Joy’ Peach. HortScience. 55(6):951-952. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14907-20.
Chen, C., Okie, W.R. 2020. ‘Crimson Joy’ Peach. HortScience. 55(6):972-973. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14983-20.
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