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P. Martínez-Gómez, M. Rubio, F. Dicenta, and T.M. Gradziel

Sharka [(plum pox virus (PPV)] mainly affects Prunus species, including apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.), peach (Prunus persica L.), plum (Prunus salicina Lindl., Prunus domestica L.), and, to a lesser degree, sweet (Prunus avium L.) and sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). Level of resistance to a Dideron isolate of PPV in seven California almond [P. dulcis (Miller) D.A. Webb], five processing peach cultivars, and two peach rootstocks was evaluated. In addition, almond and peach selections resulting from interspecific almond × peach hybridization and subsequent gene introgression were tested. Evaluations were conducted in controlled facilities after grafting the test genotypes onto inoculated GF305 peach rootstocks. Leaves were evaluated for PPV symptoms during three consecutive cycles of growth. ELISA-DASI and RT-PCR analysis were also employed to verify the presence or absence of PPV. Peach cultivars and rootstocks showed sharka symptoms and were ELISA-DASI or RT-PCR positive for some growth cycles, indicating their susceptibility to PPV. Almond cultivars and almond × peach hybrids did not show symptoms and were ELISA-DASI and RT-PCR negative, demonstrating resistance to PPV. Two (almond × peach) F2 selections as well as two of three backcrossed peach selections also showed a resistant behavior against the PPV-D isolate. Results demonstrate a high level of resistance in almond and indicate potential for PPV resistance transfer to commercial peach cultivars.

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W.A. Retzlaff, L.E. Williams, and T.M. DeJong

Nursery stock of plum (Prunus salicina Lindel., `Casselman') was planted 1 Apr. 1988 in an experimental orchard at the Kearney Agricultural Center, Univ. of California, near Fresno. The trees were enclosed in open-top fumigation chambers on 1 May 1989 and exposed to three atmospheric ozone partial pressures (charcoal-filtered air, ambient air, and ambient air + ozone) from 8 May to 15 Nov. 1989 and from 9 Apr. to 9 Nov. 1990. Trees grown outside of chambers were used to assess chamber effects on tree performance. The mean 12-hour (0800-2000 hr Pacific Daylight Time) ozone partial pressures during the 2-year experimental period in the charcoal-filtered, ambient, ambient + ozone, and nonchamber treatments were 0.044, 0.059, 0.111, and 0.064 μPa·Pa-1 in 1989 and 0.038, 0.050, 0.090, and 0.050 pPa·Pa-1 in 1990, respectively. Leaf net CO2 assimilation rate of `Casselman' plum decreased with increasing atmospheric ozone partial pressure from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. There was no difference in plum leaf net CO2 assimilation rate between the ambient chamber and nonchamber plots. Trees in the ambient + ozone treatment had greater leaf fall earlier in the growing season than those of the other treatments. Cross-sectional area growth of the trunk decreased with increasing atmospheric ozone partial pressures from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. Yield of plum trees in 1990 was 8.8, 6.3, 5.5, and 5.5 kg/tree in the charcoal-filtered, ambient, ambient + ozone, and nonchamber treatments, respectively. Average fruit weight (grams/fruit) was not affected by atmospheric ozone partial pressure. Fruit count per tree decreased as atmospheric ozone partial pressure increased from the charcoal-filtered to ambient + ozone treatment. Decreases in leaf gas exchange and loss of leaf surface area were probable contributors to decreases in trunk cross-sectional area growth and yield of young `Casselman' plum trees during orchard establishment.

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Agustín Rumayor-Rodríguez

The annual yield variation in a Japanese plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.) germplasm collection [with 32 cultivars (cv)] was used to generate regression models to describe fruit yields in terms of climate. A Geographic Information System (GIS) combined with generated regression models was used for a regional analysis of potential areas for growing plums in Zacatecas, Mexico. Three distinct cv groups were obtained by principal component analysis and were included in the study: a) `Frontier'–`Santa Rosa', b) `Ozark Premier'–`Burbank', and c) `Shiro'. The amount of winter chilling and temperatures during bloom time were the climatic conditions most related to yield. `Frontier'–'Santa Rosa' had relatively low chilling requirements (700 chill units) compared to `Ozark Premier'–`Burbank', which required the most chilling (900 chill units). `Shiro' yields were more consistent than those of the other two groups, suggesting that it has less strict requirements and received sufficient chilling every year. High temperatures at bloom reduced fruit yield in all cultivars; however, the dependence of yield on temperatures during bloom in `Shiro' was modified by summer temperatures the previous year, suggesting that temperatures at the floral induction and formation stages affect flower primordia development. Using GIS, three potential areas for growing plums in the region were defined on maps, and the differences in potential yield between the cultivar groups were determined. `Frontier'–`Santa Rosa' may be good choices as plum cultivars for the region because they were the cultivars with the highest potential yield in the largest area; however, the flexibility of the method used allows the user to get a regional gradient of the expected yields with several plum cultivars. Using experimental information and a GIS can extend the applicability of germplasm collection data to regional planning in the establishment of orchards and new fruit industries.

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Celia M. Cantín, Carlos H. Crisosto, and Kevin R. Day

The influence of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on quality attributes and shelf life performance of ‘Friar’ plums (Prunus salicina) was studied. Plums were stored at 0 °C and 85% relative humidity for a 60-day period in five different box liners (LifeSpan L316, FF-602, FF-504, 2.0% vented area perforated, and Hefty liner) and untreated (control). Flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity, and pH were unaffected by the box liners. Fruit skin color changes were repressed on plums packed in box liners that modified gas levels and weight loss was reduced by the use of any of the box liners. Plums packed without box liners (bulk-packed) had ≈6% weight loss. High carbon dioxide (CO2) and low oxygen (O2) levels were measured in boxes with MAP box liners (LifeSpan L316, FF-602, and FF-504). Percentage of healthy fruit was unaffected by any of the treatments during the ripening period (shelf life) after 45 days of cold storage. However, after 60 days of cold storage, fruit from the MAP box liners with higher CO2 and lower O2 levels had a higher incidence of chilling injury (CI) symptoms, evident as flesh translucency, gel breakdown, and “off flavor” than fruit from the other treatments. Overall, results indicate that the use of MAP box liners is recommended to improve market life of ‘Friar’ plums up to 45 days cold storage. However, the use of box liners without gas control capability may lead to CI symptoms in fruit cold-stored for longer periods.

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Shengrui Yao

Twelve peach (Prunus persica) cultivars, six apricot (Prunus armeniaca) cultivars, two japanese plum (Prunus salicina) cultivars, three european plum (Prunus domestica) cultivars, four sweet cherry (Prunus avium) cultivars, and three tart cherry (Prunus cerasus) cultivars were monitored for winter damage at New Mexico State University's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde, NM (main site), and the Agricultural Science Center in Los Lunas, NM (minor site), in 2011. Uncharacteristically low temperatures on 1 Jan. and 3 Feb. were recorded as −7.2 and −11.3 °F, respectively, at Alcalde, and 4.8 and −13.9 °F, respectively, at Los Lunas. On 10 Jan. at Alcalde, live peach flower bud percentage varied by cultivar, ranging from 11% for Blazingstar to 25% for PF-1, and 85% to 87% for Encore and China Pearl. Apricot flower buds were hardier, with 70% survival for ‘Perfection’, 97% for ‘Sunglo’, and 99% for ‘Harglow’ on 10 Jan. By 10 Feb., almost all peach flower primordia were discolored, with no cultivar showing more than 1% survival. Based on this information, the 10% kill of flower buds for most peach cultivars occurred at temperatures equal to or slightly higher than −7.2 °F, and 90% kill occurred between −7.2 and −11.3 °F. On 10 Feb., 0% to 15% of apricot flower buds on spurs or shoots of the middle and lower canopy had survived. For vigorous shoots in the upper canopy, apricot flower buds on 1-year-old shoots had a higher blooming rate than those on spurs of 2-year-old or older wood. Flower buds of japanese plum were also severely damaged with less than 0.2% survival for ‘Santa Rosa’ and 4.8% for ‘Methley’, but european plum were relatively unaffected with over 98% flower bud survival for ‘Castleton’ and ‘NY6’, and 87% for ‘Stanley’ after −11.3 °F at Alcalde. Cherry—especially tart cherry—survived better than peach, apricot, and japanese plum after all winter freezes in 2011.

Open access

Chunxian Chen, Lorraine Rodriguez-Bonilla, and Thomas G. Beckman


A rootstock collection of Prunus species and hybrids is maintained at the U.S. Department of Agriculture stone fruit breeding program at Byron, GA. We genotyped 66 Prunus rootstock accessions and clones using chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites in this study. Chloroplast microsatellites revealed that the accessions belong to four previously defined maternal lineage groups (MLG-1 to -4) and five new ones (MLG-9 to -13). MLG-1 and -2 share the same chloroplast alleles of ‘Chinese Cling’ peach (Prunus persica) derived scions and American scions and rootstocks related to early European introductions, respectively. MLG-3 included ‘Guardian’ rootstock and its descendants. MLG-4 had a single genotype, ‘Okinawa’, that is the maternal parent of ‘Flordaking’. MLG-9 and MLG-11 to -13 included hybrids with different plums (Prunus salicina, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus tomentosa, or Prunus angustifolia) in their maternal parentage. MLG-10 included hybrids from almond (Prunus. dulcis) in the maternal parentage. The neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree based on nuclear microsatellite genotyping data showed several clusters. Cluster I included only one scion cultivar Elberta from MLG-1. Clusters II, III, and V contained peach accessions mostly in MLG-2. Clusters IV and VI included accessions mostly in MLG-3. Cluster VII included most accessions of plum-peach hybrid origin and those found within MLG-13. Cluster VIII was found to be mixed with different plum-peach hybrids and hybrids from other Prunus species, most of which were found in MLG-10, -11, and -12. Most accessions in Cluster IX were related to plums in MLG-11 and a few accessions in MLG-9.

Open access

Muhammad S. Islam, Alessio Scalisi, Mark Glenn O’Connell, Peter Morton, Steve Scheding, James Underwood, and Ian Goodwin

Automatic in-field fruit recognition techniques can be used to estimate fruit number, fruit size, fruit skin color, and yield in fruit crops. Fruit color and size represent two of the most important fruit quality parameters in stone fruit (Prunus sp.). This study aimed to evaluate the reliability of a commercial mobile platform, sensors, and artificial intelligence software system for fast estimates of fruit number, fruit size, and fruit skin color in peach (Prunus persica), nectarine (P. persica var. nucipersica), plum (Prunus salicina), and apricot (Prunus armeniaca), and to assess their spatial and temporal variability. An initial calibration was needed to obtain estimates of absolute fruit number per tree and a forecasted yield. However, the technology can also be used to produce fast relative density maps in stone fruit orchards. Fruit number prediction accuracy was ≥90% in all the crops and training systems under study. Overall, predictions of fruit number in two-dimensional training systems were slightly more accurate. Estimates of fruit diameter (FD) and color did not need an initial calibration. The FD predictions had percent standard errors <10% and root mean square error <5 mm under different training systems, row spacing, crops, and fruit position within the canopy. Hue angle, a color attribute previously associated with fruit maturity in peach and nectarine, was the color attribute that was best predicted by the mobile platform. A new color parameter—color development index (CDI), ranging from 0 to 1—was derived from hue angle. The adoption of CDI, which represents the color progression or distance from green, improved the interpretation of color measurements by end-users as opposed to hue angle and generated more robust color estimations in fruit that turn purple when ripe, such as dark plum. Spatial maps of fruit number, FD, and CDI obtained with the mobile platform can be used to inform orchard decisions such as thinning, pruning, spraying, and harvest timing. The importance and application of crop yield and fruit quality real-time assessments and forecasts are discussed.

Free access

Ji Hae Jun, Eun Young Nam, Kyeong Ho Chung, Seok Kyu Yun, Jung Hyun Kwon, Ik Koo Yun, Yong Bum Kwack, Sung Jong Kim, and Kang Hee Cho

‘Summer Fantasia’, a new Japanese plum ( Prunus salicina Lindl.), originated from a cross between ‘Soldam’ and ‘Taiyo’ made in 1999 at the National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science (NIHHS) of the Rural Development Administration (RDA) in

Free access

Jung Hyun Kwon, Ji Hae Jun, Eun Young Nam, Kyeong Ho Chung, Ik Koo Yoon, Seok Kyu Yun, and Sung Jong Kim

Most Asian plum ( Prunus salicina Lindl.) cultivars have a self-incompatible mechanism that prevents self-fertilization ( Okie and Hancock, 2008 ). In fact, most rosaceous fruit tree species, including P. salicina , exhibit gametophytic self

Open access

Alfonso Guevara, María Nicolás-Almansa, José Enrique Cos, Juan Alfonso Salazar, Domingo López, José Egea, Antonio Carrillo, Manuel Rubio, Federico García, and David Ruiz

‘lucía myrtea’ and ‘victoria myrtea’ are early-season cultivars of Japanese plum ( Prunus salicina Lindl.) typology, both characterized by their low chilling requirements, so their adaptation is ideal for warm growing areas in the current context