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Qijing Zhang and Dajun Gu

An interspecific hybrid between Prunus tomentosa and P. salicina was produced through controlled pollination and confirmed by comparison of morphological characters and DNA markers. Morphological traits were intermediate between the two parents and fruit are much larger than that of P. tomentosa. Trees grafted on P. tomentosa rootstock are compact, cold hardy, precocious, and productive. It is new and potentially useful stone fruit germplasm for commercial production and further breeding in Prunus.

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Qijing Zhang and Dajun Gu

To improve the efficiency of breeding programs for Prunus rootstock hybrids in China, we analyzed the subgenus status and relationship of 10 Chinese rootstock species, by using 24 sets of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers. The SSR banding patterns and phylogenetic analysis indicated that subgenus Cerasus is more closely related to subgenus Prunophora than to subgenus Amygdalus, and that subgenus Lithocerasus is more closely related to subgenus Prunophora and subgenus Amygdalus than to subgenus Cerasus. In addition, Prunus triloba was more closely related to Prunus tomentosa than to the members of subgenus Amygdalus. Therefore, we suggest that P. tomentosa and P. triloba should be assigned to the same group, either to subgenus Lithocerasus or Prunophora, and we also propose potential parent combinations for future Prunus rootstock breeding.