Plum, belonging to the genus Prunus of Rosaceae family, is one the most important fruit crops in the world, with a high economic value and an extensive genetic diversity. China is now the largest plum producer, with an annual production of 6,801,187 t in 2018, accounting for 53.9% of the world’s total (FAOSTAT, http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data). Chinese plum (Prunus salicina Lindl., 2n = 2x = 16), also known as Japanese plum, is widely grown for fresh market consumption and the processing industry. During the past decades, Chinese plum cultivars introduced from the United States and Japan, including ‘Black Amber’, ‘Formosa’, ‘Angeleno’, ‘Fortune’, ‘Friar’, and ‘Akihime’, have been widely cultivated in China for their productivity and storability (Liu et al., 2019). With the substantially improved living standards, consumers’ demand for better eating quality increases gradually, which brought Chinese native or improved plum cultivars into sight, such as ‘Zaohongxiang’, ‘Qingcuili’, ‘Yuhuangli’, ‘Zuili’, ‘Naili’, and ‘Sanhuali’, being known for their excellent flavor and unique aroma (Huang et al., 2019; Liu et al., 2019). In this context, the breeding objectives of our group are to select plum cultivars that possess not only high productivity and fruit storability, but also high eating quality to meet the needs of both the consumer and the market.
Here, we introduced a newly selected high-quality Chinese plum cultivar Zhongli No. 3, which was developed by the Plum and Apricot Group in ZFRI-CAAS and released in 2019. The fruit matures in late-July in Zhengzhou and the fruit development period is about 120 d. The fruit of ‘Zhongli No. 3’ is oval and has an attractive peel color. The fruit flavor is sour-sweet with a strong aroma, and the soluble solid content is about 16.4%. The average fruit weight is about 98.2 g, and the maximum fruit weight could be 150.0 g. The average yield of a 5-year tree could reach up to 31.0 kg.
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