Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2007
Publication Date: 2/1/2008
Citation: Ledbetter, C.A. 2008. Breeding of Apricot. In: Temperate Fruit Crop Breeding Germplasm to Genomics. ISBN 1402069065
Interpretive Summary: Over the last 20 years, new techniques have been employed in fruit breeding to assist in variety development and in making the breeding process more efficient. Currently, an overview of apricot variety development and significant progress in related research techniques has been compiled to assist interested students and researchers. Efforts have been made to identify active apricot breeding programs throughout the world and identify their specific breeding objectives. Historical breeding efforts have been described as well as the basic taxonomy and eco-geographical groups that are currently accepted for apricot. Examples of marker assisted selection in apricot are provided as are current efforts to use molecular markers for cultivar fingerprinting and pedigree studies. This current work provides readers with an up-to-date summary of apricot breeding efforts, new apricot varieties and the utilization of molecular techniques that are employed to assist the breeding effort.
Technical Abstract: Apricot fruit production and harvested orchard area are both increasing on a worldwide basis. Perhaps due to its early ripening season, its unique and pleasant aroma, or its high nutritive content and ability to be processed into a non-perishable sustaining ration, early explorers and conquerors brought apricot with them to foreign lands. Over 50 countries currently produce more than 1,000 Mt of fresh apricot annually, and the crop is grown on six of the world’s seven continents. This chapter provides an overview of apricot’s evolutionary biology and germplasm resources, history of improvement, problems of genetic importance, genetics of important traits, crossing and evaluation techniques and biotechnological approaches to genetic improvement.