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In the Southeast spring frosts often kill all or part of the flowers on peach trees. Increased flower bud density is one mechanism that increases the likelihood of enough flowers surviving to produce a crop. Mean buds per node in-North Carolina varied in 1986 from 1.6 for `Harko' to 0.4 for `Topaz'. The effect of environment on bud density was unknown. Therefore, for 3 years we compared the bud density of 25 peach and nectarine cultivars grown in completely randomized designs (4 reps per location, 10 twigs per tree) in Georgia and North Carolina. Genotypie variability was greater than that due to location or year effects. Cultivars selected for high bud density in one location can be expected to have high densities at other locations.

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Bruce D. Mowrey and Dennis J. Werner

To determine the earliest developmental stage at which isozyme screening could be accomplished, 10 isozyme systems were examined in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] for differential expression during development. Differences in isozyme expression based on stage of development were detected in nine systems. The earliest stage for complete screening of most isozymes examined is in l-month-old seedlings. The significance of these results relative to genetic mapping is discussed.

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W.R. Okie and D.J. Werner

Spring frosts often kill all or a portion of the flowers on peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees in the southeastern United States. Increased flower bud density increases the likelihood of sufficient flowers surviving to produce a crop. The effect of environment on flower bud density (buds/node) was studied using two locations over 3 years. Bud density of 25 peach and nectarine varieties grown in completely randomized designs was measured in Georgia and North Carolina. Genotypic variability was greater than location or year effects. Varieties selected for high bud density at one location can be expected to have high densities at other locations with similar chilling.

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W. Elliott, D.J. Werner, and P.R. Fantz

A controlled cross between Buddleja davidii var. nanhoensis (Chitt.) Rehd. `Nanho Purple' and B. lindleyana Fort. ex Lindl. produced a hybrid. Pollen viability, male fertility, and the floral and vegetative characters are presented with a Latin diagnosis. Buddleja × luteolufaucia Elliott and Fantz is proposed as the name for this hybrid. Hybridity was confirmed using RAPD analysis.

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Bruce D. Mowrey, Dennis J. Werner, and David H. Byrne

Eighteen isozyme systems were surveyed in the peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] plant introduction collection. Seven systems were polymorphic. Three previously unreported isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH; EC, three malate dehydrogenase (MDH; EC and two shikimate dehydrogenase (SDH; EC banding patterns were detected in the clones. Isocitrate dehydrogenase was dimeric in structure, with two alleles present at a single locus. Malate dehydrogenase was dimeric in structure, with three alleles present at the fast locus, while a second locus was monomorphic. Shikimate dehydrogenase was monomeric, with one allele present in most clones, while PI 113452, PI 113650, and PI 117679 were heterozygous for a slow SDH allele. Electrophoretic evidence suggests PI 113452, PI 113650, and PI 117679 are peach × almond (P. dulcis Webb) hybrids, since they were heterozygous for alleles previously reported only in almond.

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T.G. Beckman, J. Rodriguez Alcazar, W.B. Sherman, and D.J. Werner

Recently observed hybrid populations of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] provide evidence for the presence of a single gene suppressing red skin color. The fruit of seedling populations of FL90-48C and FL90-37C × FL84-18C, FL90-50CN × FL92-2C, FL90-48C × FL91-12, FL91-8 × FL88-6, and open-pollinated or selfed populations from unselected seedlings of `Contender' × PI65977 (`Giallo di Padova') and `Mexico Selection' × `Oro A' were rated for normal quantitative vs. no anthocyanin skin color at maturity. At this stage of development, anthocyaninless phenotypes displayed no red color over the entire surface of the fruit. Instead they were characterized by a bright yellow ground color that stood out visually in the seedling rows, and which was dubbed highlighter. The two crosses with FL84-18C yielded populations that approximated a 1:1 segregation ratio for quantitative red:no red skin color. All other crosses produced populations that closely approximated a 3:1 segregation ratio for quantitative red to no red. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the highlighter phenotype is a single gene recessive trait. We propose the gene symbols of h and H for the recessive no red (highlighter) and dominant normal quantitative red (wild-type) alleles, respectively.

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M.F. Aoun, K.B. Perry, W.H. Swallow, D.J. Werner, and M.L. Parker

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W.R. Okie, T.G. Beckman, G.L. Reighard, W.C. Newall Jr., C.J. Graham, D.J. Werner, A.A Powell, and G. Krewer

This paper describes the climatic and cropping conditions in the major peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] producing areas in the southeastern United States in 1996. The peach and nectarine crop was the smallest since 1955 due to a series of unusually cold temperatures in February, March, and April. Crop set was not strictly a function of late blooming. No variety produced a full crop across the region. Many reputedly hardy peaches cropped poorly. The only peach or nectarine varieties that produced substantial crops in multiple locations were `La Premiere', `Ruston Red', and `Contender'. Cropping ability of some breeding selections shows that peach frost tolerance may be improved further.