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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316457

Research Project: Breeding Stone Fruit Adapted to the Production Environment of the Southeastern United States

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Novel peach flower types in a segregating population from ‘Helen Borchers’

item Chen, Chunxian
item OKIE, WILLIAM - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2015
Publication Date: 4/17/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Chen, C., Okie, W.R. 2015. Novel peach flower types in a segregating population from ‘Helen Borchers’. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 140(2):172–177.

Interpretive Summary: Peach flower characteristics are useful in identifying cultivars, for verifying parents in crosses, and in genetic and linkage studies. Peach flower vary in color, shape, size and number of petals, showy or non-showy, etc. Novel peach flower phenotypes can arise by mutation or from segregation in crosses between distant parents. As a reproductive organ, the peach flower serves to attract insects. Peach flowers generally open prior to leaf growth, so changes in floral characteristics are readily visible for identification and genetic analysis.

Technical Abstract: Several new peach (Prunus persica) flower types were discovered in an F2 segregating population from an open-pollinated, non-showy-flowered F1 seedling of ‘Helen Borchers’, a double-flowered ornamental cultivar. The novel flower types were white and red single-flowered, non-showy blooms, as well as double-flowered, non-showy red, pink, white, and yellow phenotypes. The double, non-showy flowers were very attractive, and resembled pom-pom chrysanthemums. Yellow flower color is unknown in peach. Flower type in the F2 family segregated approximately 3:1 for non-showy (Sh_) vs. showy (shsh), for anthocyanin-present vs. anthocyanin-absent, and for pink (R_) vs. red (rr), independently. Flower petal number segregated at about 9:3:4 for classes single:semi-double:double. Although both parents were late flowering, the F1 was not. The F2 seedlings showed a wide range in time of flowering. Higher petal number was correlated with later bloom, although it is unclear whether this is due to linkage or to developmental differences in the flowers with extra petals. These novel flower types might be useful as ornamentals, and for use in genetics and breeding studies. Microsatellite analysis of possible pollen donors revealed that ‘Oldmixon Free’, a non-showy-flowered peach cultivar, was likely the pollen parent of the F1.