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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357835

Research Project: Development of New Stone Fruit Cultivars and Rootstocks for the Southeastern United States

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Advances and challenges in peach breeding

item Chavez, Dario - University Of Florida
item Itle, Rachel - University Of Florida
item Moncero-castillo, Daniel - University Of Florida
item Chaparro, Jose - University Of Florida
item Beckman, Thomas - Tom

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Advances in fruit breeding are often dependent on breakthroughs that clear major hurdle to advancing the objectives of a breeding program. In the case of peach breeding for moderate and low chill production areas of the southeastern United States, inferior fruit firmness and susceptibility to peach fungal gummosis have loomed large as major obstacles to progress. However, the novel use of non-melting (i.e. canning) type germplasm played a major role in achieving the superior firmness necessary for long distance shipping in the early season market and the development of new varieties that would meet grower needs. Similarly, the identification of sources of resistance to peach fungal gummosis and, more importantly, the identification of candidate markers for resistance are clearing the way for significant progress in the development of new peach varieties with resistance to this debilitating disease that to this day still lacks any viable chemical control strategy.

Technical Abstract: The multiple climates and growing regions in which peaches are found plus its relative short juvenile period, self-pollinated behavior, small genome size, and important Mendelian traits identified, have made peach a model fruit for breeding and genetics research. There are multiple peach breeding programs in the U.S. and their geographic location and chill requirement generally are used to classify them as northern (high-chill), western (mid-chill to high), southern-central (mid-chill), and southern (low-chill). In this context, this chapter will review the moderate chill peach variety development program commenced in 1986 as a cooperative regional effort involving the USDA-ARS, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida and is located at the University of Georgia Research and Education Center outside of Attapulgus, Georgia. In the practical aspect of this chapter, the identification of a locus for resistance to peach fungal gummosis (PFG) in peach will be reviewed.