523 PB 489 INCORPORATION OF USEFUL TRAITS FROM NATIVE ALMOND SPECIES INTO CULTIVATED ALMOND VARIETIES. II. GENE INTROGRESSION

in HortScience
Authors:
Thomas M. GradzielDepartment of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

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Dale E. KesterDepartment of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

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Breeding lines have been developed incorporating introgressed genes from three native almond species Prunus fenzliana, Prunus webbii and Prunus argentea. Selected traits include self-fertility and autogamy, late bloom, smaller tree size, early nut maturity, improved cropping potential, and a well-sealed shell (endocarp) with high kernel/shell crack-out percentages. Fertility barriers, while present were easily overcome though linkage to introgressed genes with undesirable phenotypes remains an important obstacle to commercial use. Current breeding results, however, support a general conclusion that the wide diversity present within the range of species related to the cultivated almond (Prunus dulcis) provides an valuable gene pool for variety improvement.

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