Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347196

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

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Peach cultivar releases and fruit trait distribution in the USDA-ARS Byron program

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

Submitted to: International Peach Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Conventional breeding remains the mainstream approach to peach cultivar improvement. Success depends on optimal combination of parents to produce sufficient hybrids, and comprehensive evaluation of the hybrids to select potential new cultivars. Decades of effort in the USDA-ARS stone fruit breeding program at Byron, GA, have led to generation of superior selections and valuable evaluation data and release of dozens of peach cultivars. Statistical analysis of the data could facilitate understanding fruit trait distribution and selection tendency in the USDA breeding program.

Technical Abstract: Conventional plant breeding is often daunting and costly, but it has a long history of success and remains predominant in today’s crop improvement programs. Success depends on optimal combination of parents to produce sufficient hybrids, and comprehensive evaluation of the hybrids to select potential new cultivars. Decades of effort in the USDA-ARS stone fruit breeding program at Byron, GA, have led to generation of superior selections and valuable evaluation data and release of dozens of peach cultivars. Statistical analysis of the data could facilitate understanding fruit trait distribution and selection tendency in the program. A normal distribution was observed for fruit size (median diameter = 61 mm, average = 61.09 mm), and ripening date (median = June 30). Other traits, including fruit set, external blush, attractiveness, firmness, freeness, shape, pubescence, and overall eating quality, showed an uneven distribution toward the desired directions, which was expected since data was rarely taken on discarded hybrids. The median value of fruit set was 7 and the average 6.59 in a scale of 0-9, suggesting this trait had been maintained in a majority of selections. Blush and attractiveness showed a similar distribution where 7 was the median for both and 6.81 and 6.95 were the averages respectively on a 0-9 scale, indicating the selection tendencies were toward a higher blush coverage but with some classic yellow background to indicate the ripening stage. Statistical correlations were also found between some of the evaluated fruit traits.