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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Title: Stoneless plums - from Luther Burbank to the present

item Callahan, Ann
item Dardick, Christopher - Chris
item Scorza, Ralph

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2012
Publication Date: 5/20/2012
Citation: Callahan, A.M., Dardick, C.D., Scorza, R. 2012. Stoneless plums - from Luther Burbank to the present. Xth International Symposium on Plum and Prune Genetics, Breeding and Technology. p. 45.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: At the beginning of the 20th century, legendary breeder Luther Burbank released the first of his stoneless plums ‘Miracle’. It and a subsequent release ‘Conquest’ were not commercially successful and can no longer be found. In a quest to understand stone formation, germplasm was obtained from California and Oregon that is likely related to Burbank’s stoneless germplasm. Our initial experiments suggested that this material is stoneless because fewer cells are present that would form the endocarp which is the tissue that hardens into the stone. In a selection called ‘Stoneless’, a space around the seed is evident where the stone would normally be found. Our observations confirmed Burbank’s that in ‘Stoneless’ and other similar types that we have obtained, the stone is not completely absent but they have at the very least, a sliver of stone along the suture region that is part of the finiculus. The amount of stone tissue appears to be related to climate and may vary between years from nearly stoneless to containing a complete, intact stone. We have begun to analyze the differences in stone development just prior to pollination until about 10 days after pollination when we can observe differentiation of the endocarp. Using techniques such as real-time PCR and RNA sequencing to measure gene expression, we have identified a number of candidate genes that may be involved with stone development.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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