Founding Parents of Low-Chill Peaches

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843-2133

A computer program was developed to calculate the percent contribution of the founding parents for any given peach or nectarine (Prunus persica) cultivar. The founding parents used most frequently for three low-chill (0 to 500 chill units) peach and nectarine breeding programs (Florida and Pelotas and Campinas, Brazil) were determined. The Florida program used several low-chill honey type peaches (`Hawaiian', `Okinawa') as a source of low chilling and then did extensive crossing with higher quality cultivars developed mainly in the northeastern United States. About 50% of the background of the Brazilian peach releases consists of local selections that were originally brought by the Portuguese explorers. Although each of the Brazilian programs used local peach materials, the local peaches used by each program are different. In addition, the program at Pelotas used germplasm from the Georgia–Florida and New Jersey breeding programs and the Campinas program used `Jewel' (honey peach) and several Florida nectarines (`Sunlite', `Sunred') in their development work. The founding parents among these three programs, although there is some common parentage, are different, and the intercrossing of materials from the various programs would be a useful approach to create more diversity in this germplasm.

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