‘Sweet Queen’ Nectarine

Authors:
Jung Hyun Kwon Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Eun Young Nam Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Ji Hae Jun Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Kyeong Ho Chung Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Seok Kyu Yun Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Sung Jong Kim Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Ju-Hyun Lee Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Kidong Hwang Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Namhee Jeong Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Sweet Queen is a new nectarine cultivar released by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) peach and nectarine breeding program, which began in 1962. One of the purposes of this program is to breed new peach and nectarine cultivars and provide consumers with high-quality fruit. In the Republic of Korea, peaches and nectarines account for 83% and 17% of the total cultivation area, respectively, which was 20,315 ha in 2022 (Statistics Korea 2023). In 2022, the major nectarine cultivars were Cheonhong, Sunfre, Fantasia, and Redgold, accounting for 23%, 23%, 8%, and 8% of the total nectarine production, respectively (Korea Rural Economic Institute 2022). However, the acidity of these nectarine cultivars is higher than 0.8%, which is one of the major limiting factors of nectarine consumption. As a consequence of consumer preferences for low acidity and sweetness, the areas cultivating sweet nectarines with low acidity are increasing in the Republic of Korea (Kim et al. 2022). In peach and nectarine breeding programs in the United States, low acidic nectarine cultivars such as Amoore Sweet (Clark and Sandefur 2013), Arctic Snow (Crisosto et al. 2006), and Effie (Worthington and Clark 2018) have been released. Furthermore, nectarines, unlike peaches, can be eaten without peeling, making them convenient for consumption. Sweet Queen is the third low acidic nectarine cultivar released by RDA following Seolhong (Nam et al. 2016) and Yellow Dream (Nam et al. 2018). The fruit of ‘Sweet Queen’ has yellow melting flesh and ripens in early August in Wanju, Republic of Korea. This cultivar is promising because of its sweetness with low acidity and rich flavor.

Origin

Sweet Queen is a nectarine cultivar originated from a cross between Baekhyang (Kang et al. 1999a) and Cheonhong (Kang et al. 1999b) in 1999 (Fig. 1). Baekhyang is a white-fleshed peach, whereas Cheonhong is a yellow-fleshed nectarine although both cultivars originated from open pollination of ‘Garden State’ nectarine. Genetically, the presence (peach) or absence (nectarine) of skin pubescence is controlled by a single locus (g) where the fuzzy skin (GG or Gg) is dominant to the glabrous skin (gg) (Monet and Bassi 2008). Because ‘Baekhyang’ peach originated from ‘Garden State’ nectarine, it is heterozygous for the skin pubescence trait. To breed new nectarine cultivars with low acidity and rich flavor, we selected ‘Baekhyang’ as a breeding material because of its high sugar content, rich flavor, low acidity, and heterozygosity for the skin pubescence trait. ‘Cheonhong’ was selected as a pollen parent because of its large size, rich flavor, and glabrous skin.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Pedigree of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

Citation: HortScience 59, 2; 10.21273/HORTSCI17384-23

A total of 243 seeds from a cross of ‘Baekhyang’ and ‘Cheonhong’ were obtained in 1999, and 207 seedlings were germinated and planted in the experimental field in Suwon in 2000. The seedlings were evaluated from 2001 to 2004, and the superior line 99PH625 was selected for its high fruit quality in 2005. This line was grafted onto ‘Maotao’ (Prunus persica) peach rootstock for further evaluation. Three trees were planted with a spacing of 6 m between the rows and 3 m between the trees and trained to an open center system. After evaluating these trees during 2006 to 2009, this line was selected and designated ‘Wonkyo Da-34’ in 2010 and planted in five sites to test adaptability (Table 1).

Table 1.

Location and meteorological data of the five evaluation sites (2010–17). Temperature and precipitation data were obtained from the Korean Meteorological Administration, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Table 1.

Five sites were selected to be evenly distributed across the country and which belong to temperate climate. The Republic of Korea usually experiences humid summers (June to August) with ∼40% to 60% of the annual precipitation concentrated during this period, whereas winters (November to February) are dry, with less than 10% of the annual precipitation. Cheongdo and Wanju, located in the southern region, experience the higher temperatures, and Suwon in the northern region records the lower temperatures, allowing the assessment of low temperature damage during winter.

At each site, Sweet Queen and the comparison cultivar Cheonhong (the male parent and a leading nectarine cultivar in the Republic of Korea) were planted with three trees each in a single plot and observed from 2010 to 2017. In Wanju, performance of Baekhyang (the female parent), Garden State (the parental cultivar of Baekhyang and Cheonhong), and Sunfre (a leading nectarine cultivar) was also observed for comparison. At every testing site, trees were planted with a spacing of 5 m between the rows and 4 m between the trees and trained to an open center system. Trees were pruned during summer and winter, and diseases and pests were managed using standard commercial guidelines applied in the Republic of Korea (Shin et al. 2002).

Description

Temperature and growth.

The winter cold hardiness of the trees were visually assessed after spring thaw by observing the survival or discoloration of stem or bark. From 2010 to 2017, the lowest temperature, –18.1 °C, occurred in Suwon on 4 Jan 2013 (Table 1). The trees were 3 years old, and no damage due to low temperatures was observed during the dormant period. ‘Sweet Queen’ trees fruited well in all evaluation sites in which the annual mean temperatures ranged from 12.1 to 14.0 °C (Table 1).

Flowering time.

The average full bloom date of ‘Sweet Queen’ across the five locations was 16 Apr, similar to that of ‘Cheonhong’ (Table 2). However, the full bloom dates differed by up to 14 d at different locations. The earliest full bloom of ‘Sweet Queen’ was observed on 9 Apr at Cheongdo and Wanju, the southern regions of the Republic of Korea, whereas the latest full bloom of ‘Sweet Queen’ was observed on 23 Apr at Yesan (Table 1).

Table 2.

Phenological characteristics of ‘Sweet Queen’ and ‘Cheonhong’ collected from five locations in 2012–17.

Table 2.

Chilling requirement.

The chilling requirement was estimated by forcing and calculated according to Utah and Dynamic models as described by Kwon et al. (2020). The chilling requirement of ‘Sweet Queen’ was 875 chill units and 55 chilling portions. As the chilling accumulation at all five locations was sufficient to fulfill the chilling requirement of ‘Sweet Queen’ (Table 1), flowering disorders caused by insufficient chilling were not observed.

Trees.

Tree, flower, and leaf characteristics were evaluated according to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 2010) guidelines for distinctness, uniformity, and stability of the peach. Trees of ‘Sweet Queen’ were moderately vigorous with a semiupright growth habit similar to that of ‘Baekhyang’ and ‘Cheonhong’. Leaves of ‘Sweet Queen’ had reniform nectarines, and the average leaf size was 3.6 cm wide × 15.6 cm long.

Flower.

Flowers of ‘Sweet Queen’ were campanulate type (nonshowy), and the flower size was medium with an average diameter of 2.34 cm (Fig. 2). The corolla color was dark pink with five narrow elliptic shaped petals. The inner color of the calyx cup was orange, and there was no pubescence on the surface of the ovary. The stigma was positioned above the anthers and the flower was fertile with bright yellow pollen.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Flower of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

Citation: HortScience 59, 2; 10.21273/HORTSCI17384-23

Fruit.

The morphological characteristics of the fruit were evaluated according to the UPOV guidelines using 30 fruit samples from the midcanopy of three trees each year to determine characteristics such as fresh weight, flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), and titratable acidity (TA). The average ripening date of ‘Sweet Queen’ at Wanju was 1 Aug (Table 2), which is midseason for peach and nectarine market in the Republic of Korea. Fruits of ‘Sweet Queen’ ripe about 114 d after full bloom and usually 16 d before ‘Baekhyang’ and 10 d after ‘Cheonhong’ (Table 3).

Table 3.

Seasonal growth and flower characteristics of ‘Sweet Queen’, the female parent ‘Baekhyang’, the male parent ‘Cheonhong’, and other comparison cultivars in Wanju, 2015–17.

Table 3.

The fruit of Sweet Queen is broad elliptic, the same as its parental cultivars, Baekhyang and Cheonhong (Figs. 3 and 4). The fruit ground color is greenish-yellow and blushed with medium red in a solid flush. The fruit flesh is yellow with melting texture and good flavor. Red pigmentation is absent in the outer flesh and around the pit. The fruit of ‘Sweet Queen’ and ‘Cheonhong’ is clingstone, whereas that of ‘Baekhyang’ is freestone (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Fruit set of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

Citation: HortScience 59, 2; 10.21273/HORTSCI17384-23

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Morphological fruit characteristics of the ‘Sweet Queen’ (A), ‘Baekhyang’ (B), ‘Cheonhong’ (C), ‘Garden State’ (D), and ‘Sunfre’ (E).

Citation: HortScience 59, 2; 10.21273/HORTSCI17384-23

The average fruit weight of ‘Sweet Queen’ was 233.7 g, and that of ‘Baekhyang’ and ‘Cheonhong’ was 272.7 and 238.0 g, respectively (Table 4). The average SSC of ‘Sweet Queen’ was 14.4 °Brix when fully ripe. The TA of ‘Sweet Queen’ was 0.24%, significantly lower than that of ‘Cheonhong’ (0.89%), ‘Garden State’ (0.83%), and ‘Sunfre’ (0.85%). The flesh firmness of ‘Sweet Queen’ was 3.93 kg/8 mmΦ at harvest. After 3 d at 25 °C, the SSC increased to 16.0 °Brix and flesh firmness decreased to 1.85 kg/8 mmΦ becoming ready to eat. At harvest, ‘Sweet Queen’ had less than 3% of fruit cracking and 5% of pit split, as did ‘Cheonhong’. The degree of preharvest drop was 5%, less than that of ‘Baekhyang’ (9%). The yield of 5-year-old ‘Sweet Queen’ trees was 26.0 kg/tree whereas that of ‘Baekhyang’ and ‘Cheonhong’ was 27.7 and 31.7 kg/tree, respectively, in the 5 × 4 m plot.

Table 4.

Fruit characteristics of ‘Sweet Queen’, the female parent ‘Baekhyang’, the male parent ‘Cheonhong’, and other comparison cultivars in Wanju, 2015–17.

Table 4.

Diseases.

The disease incidence in field condition was investigated from 2012 to 2017 when trees were fruiting. The field infection of brown rot (Monilinia fructicola) was examined at harvest by monitoring 30 fruit samples per cultivar each year. ‘Sweet Queen’, ‘Baekhyang’, ‘Cheonhong’, and ‘Sunfre’ showed less than 1% of infection while ‘Garden State’ showed 1% to 5%. In case of bacterial spot (Xanthomonas arboricola), 30 fruit and 60 leaf samples were monitored at harvest season. Approximately 5% of leaf or fruit lesions caused by field infection were observed in Sweet Queen and the other comparison cultivars.

Availability

Plant Variety Protection of the Republic of Korea for ‘Sweet Queen’ was obtained in 2018 and registration in Sep 2021 after 3 years of distinctness, uniformity, and stability evaluations according to the Korean Seed Industry Law. Requests for scions for research purposes may be addressed to Jung Hyun Kwon (kwon1101@korea.kr). The plant material was tested for Apple chlorotic leafspot virus (ACLSV), Hop stunt viroid (HSVd), Peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd), and Plum pox virus (PPV).

References Cited

  • Clark JR, Sandefur PJ. 2013. ‘Bowden’ and ‘Amoore Sweet’ nectarines. HortScience. 48(6):804807. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.48.6.804.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crisosto CH, Crisosto GM, Echeverria G, Puy J. 2006. Segregation of peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars according to their organoleptic characteristics. Postharvest Biol Technol. 39(1):1018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2005.09.007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. 2010. Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity, and stability. Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Kang SJ, Chung KH, Kim HY, Kim WC, Lee DK. 1999a. ‘Baekhyang’, a rich-flavor, white-fleshed, late-maturing, and freestone peach. Kor J Hort Sci Technol. 17(1):1718.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kang SJ, Kim HY, Cheong KH, Kim WC, Shin YU, Moon JY, Kim JH. 1999b. ‘Cheonhong’, a nectarine with resistance to fruit cracking and russeting. Kor J Hort Sci Technol. 17(1):1516.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim W, Lee M, Lee H, Yoon S, Kang H. 2022. Trend and outlook of fruits. Agricultural outlook 2022 Korea E04-2022.

  • Korea Rural Economic Institute. 2022. Outlook and agricultural statistics information system. https://oasis.krei.re.kr/basicInfo/wholesale/qty.do. [accessed 16 May 2023].

  • Kwon J, Nam E, Yun S, Kim S, Song S, Lee J, Hwang K. 2020. Chilling and heat requirement of peach cultivars and changes in chilling accumulation spectrums based on 100-year records in Republic of Korea. Agr For Meteorol. 288–289:108009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Monet R, Bassi D. 2008. Classical genetics and breeding, p 61–84. In: Layne DR, Bassi D (eds). The peach: Botany, production and uses. CABI, Wallingford, UK. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781845933869.0061.

  • Nam EY, Jun JH, Kwon JH, Yun SK, Yoon IK, Chung KH, Kim SJ. 2016. A new nectarine ‘Seolhong’. Korean J Hortic Sci Technol. 34(SI):161.

  • Nam EY, Kwon JH, Jun JH, Chung KH, Yun SK, Kim SJ, Do YS. 2018. ‘Yellow Dream’ nectarine. HortScience. 53(12):19111914. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI13212-18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shin YU, Kang SJ, Jeong SB, Jun JH, Jo MD, Chung KH, Kim SJ, Park JM, Yoon IK, Park JH, Kim DS, Jeong DS, Kang JG. 2002. The standard manual of peach cultivation. Rural Development of Administration, Suwon, Republic of Korea.

  • Statistics Korea. 2023. Korean Statistical Information Service. https://kosis.kr/eng/. [accessed 16 May 2023].

  • Worthington M, Clark JR. 2018. ‘Effie’ nectarine. HortScience. 53(6):897901. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI12970-18.

  • Fig. 1.

    Pedigree of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 2.

    Flower of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 3.

    Fruit set of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 4.

    Morphological fruit characteristics of the ‘Sweet Queen’ (A), ‘Baekhyang’ (B), ‘Cheonhong’ (C), ‘Garden State’ (D), and ‘Sunfre’ (E).

  • Clark JR, Sandefur PJ. 2013. ‘Bowden’ and ‘Amoore Sweet’ nectarines. HortScience. 48(6):804807. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.48.6.804.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crisosto CH, Crisosto GM, Echeverria G, Puy J. 2006. Segregation of peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars according to their organoleptic characteristics. Postharvest Biol Technol. 39(1):1018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2005.09.007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. 2010. Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity, and stability. Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Kang SJ, Chung KH, Kim HY, Kim WC, Lee DK. 1999a. ‘Baekhyang’, a rich-flavor, white-fleshed, late-maturing, and freestone peach. Kor J Hort Sci Technol. 17(1):1718.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kang SJ, Kim HY, Cheong KH, Kim WC, Shin YU, Moon JY, Kim JH. 1999b. ‘Cheonhong’, a nectarine with resistance to fruit cracking and russeting. Kor J Hort Sci Technol. 17(1):1516.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim W, Lee M, Lee H, Yoon S, Kang H. 2022. Trend and outlook of fruits. Agricultural outlook 2022 Korea E04-2022.

  • Korea Rural Economic Institute. 2022. Outlook and agricultural statistics information system. https://oasis.krei.re.kr/basicInfo/wholesale/qty.do. [accessed 16 May 2023].

  • Kwon J, Nam E, Yun S, Kim S, Song S, Lee J, Hwang K. 2020. Chilling and heat requirement of peach cultivars and changes in chilling accumulation spectrums based on 100-year records in Republic of Korea. Agr For Meteorol. 288–289:108009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Monet R, Bassi D. 2008. Classical genetics and breeding, p 61–84. In: Layne DR, Bassi D (eds). The peach: Botany, production and uses. CABI, Wallingford, UK. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781845933869.0061.

  • Nam EY, Jun JH, Kwon JH, Yun SK, Yoon IK, Chung KH, Kim SJ. 2016. A new nectarine ‘Seolhong’. Korean J Hortic Sci Technol. 34(SI):161.

  • Nam EY, Kwon JH, Jun JH, Chung KH, Yun SK, Kim SJ, Do YS. 2018. ‘Yellow Dream’ nectarine. HortScience. 53(12):19111914. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI13212-18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shin YU, Kang SJ, Jeong SB, Jun JH, Jo MD, Chung KH, Kim SJ, Park JM, Yoon IK, Park JH, Kim DS, Jeong DS, Kang JG. 2002. The standard manual of peach cultivation. Rural Development of Administration, Suwon, Republic of Korea.

  • Statistics Korea. 2023. Korean Statistical Information Service. https://kosis.kr/eng/. [accessed 16 May 2023].

  • Worthington M, Clark JR. 2018. ‘Effie’ nectarine. HortScience. 53(6):897901. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI12970-18.

Jung Hyun Kwon Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Eun Young Nam Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Ji Hae Jun Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Kyeong Ho Chung Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Seok Kyu Yun Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Sung Jong Kim Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Ju-Hyun Lee Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Kidong Hwang Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Namhee Jeong Fruit Research Division, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea

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Contributor Notes

This work was carried out with the support of the Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01272801), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. We thank Kang Hee Cho and Sang-Yun Cho for conducting virus testing of the plant material.

J.H.K. is the corresponding author. E-mail: kwon1101@korea.kr.

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  • Fig. 1.

    Pedigree of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 2.

    Flower of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 3.

    Fruit set of the ‘Sweet Queen’ nectarine.

  • Fig. 4.

    Morphological fruit characteristics of the ‘Sweet Queen’ (A), ‘Baekhyang’ (B), ‘Cheonhong’ (C), ‘Garden State’ (D), and ‘Sunfre’ (E).

 

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