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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336419

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

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: A strategy for male sterility facilitated recurrent selection in peach

item Odum, R. - University Of Florida
item Chaparro, Jose - University Of Florida
item Beckman, Thomas - Tom

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2014
Publication Date: 5/20/2015
Citation: Odum, R., Chaparro, J.X., Beckman, T.G. 2015. A strategy for male sterility facilitated recurrent selection in peach. Acta Horticulturae. 1084:143-145.

Interpretive Summary: One of the largest costs in plant breeding is the labor required to produce hybrid offspring for evaluation. Peaches are generally self-fertile and require hand pollinations to produce authentic hybrids. Male sterile peaches are unable to self-pollinate. They are typically pollinated by insects carrying pollen from nearby pollen fertile trees. By planting superior male sterile and pollen fertile selections (carrying male sterility) in a high density nursery isolated from undesirable pollen sources and providing bees to move pollen from the pollen fertile trees to the male sterile trees the need for hand pollinations can be eliminated. The hybrid seed harvested from the male sterile trees is used to establish a block of trees for evaluation. Inferior offspring are eliminated as in a conventional breeding program. Cultivars for release can be selected from the superior pollen fertile individuals present in each block and seed from superior male sterile individuals present used to establish the next block to keep the process going.

Technical Abstract: Commercial peach is a highly homozygous self-compatible species with limited diversity. The incorporation of exotic germplasm and breeding of new varieties is hindered by the labor required to generate large segregating populations. Hand pollinations are characterized by a high failure rate with only 25% of pollinations resulting in fruit set. Additionally, peach fruit typically produce a single seed, further reducing the potential seedling population size. Two mechanisms that facilitate outcrossing, self-incompatibility and male sterility, exist in peach and closely related species. Fruit set in self-incompatible and male sterile genotypes is facilitated via insect pollination. In this presentation we describe procedures for the establishment and maintenance of a male sterility facilitated random mating breeding population.