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  • Author or Editor: Tom Gradziel x
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A model for the epidemiology of noninfectious bud-failure (Fenton, et al., 1988) predicts that BF-potcntial is universally present within specific almond cultivars with variation existing in the rate and pattern of development of BF phenotypes. Orchard surveys of Carmel in 1990 and 1991 involving four nursery sources showed a trend of 2 per cent of affected trees after one year in the orchard, increasing to 4 per cent in the second, with prospects for gradual increase with time. All four sources produced some BF trees with significant differences among sources. A study has been started to identify the source and pattern of BF-potential within the entire Carmel cultivar. It has two parts. A pedigree analysis of propagation sources from eleven commercial nurseries traces their genealogy from the original seedling plant first discovered in 1947. A propagation test of approximately 3000 individual trees representative of the propagation sources of all eleven commercial nurseries has been established. The origin of each progeny tree has been maintained in respect to source, tree, budstick and individual bud location on the stick. Expression of bud-failure symptoms in individual trees will identify the source and pattern of BF-potential within the cultivar.

Free access

The renowned horticultural artist and plant breeder Luther Burbank worked with many species of plants. During his 50-year career, he introduced more than 800 cultivars, including more than 150 accessions of plums (Prunus spp.) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Burbank preferred using wide, interspecific crosses to create a vast range of phenotypic variation and then artificially select from the extremes. Although a great artist, Burbank was a substandard scientist because he was derelict in pedigree note-taking. Although many of his introductions are extinct, hobbyists, enthusiasts, and international collections retain nearly a third of the economically viable cultivars he bred. For a century, many of his hybridizations remained inscrutable mysteries until modern genomic and computational tools developed their resolution and statistical power. Today, genotyping by sequencing (GBS) is a useful tool for pedigree reconstruction in the absence of reliable records. GBS can inform principal component analyses, identity by descent (IBD) kinship, and phylogenetic admixture, revealing complex relationships among taxa. In this study, whole genome sequencing was performed on 53 Prunus taxa used by Burbank in his breeding experiments in the most comprehensive genetic survey of his work to date. Exact parent–offspring relationships between this population may be impossible to discern due to years of back crossing, sibling mating, and open pollination. However, the proportion of genomic similarity among these taxa provides information on the relatedness of the genotypes in Burbank’s Prunus experiments, defining four primary lineages within his breeding population. These lineages comprised primarily P. salicina and P. simonii but also have influences from P. americana, P. cerasifera, P. domestica, and P. rivularis. The prevalence of P. simonii in Burbank’s Prunus introductions appears to have been vastly underreported, indicating that some of the seedstock founders of his breeding population could have been P. salicina × P. simonii hybrids at the inception of his career. This research has implications for pedigree reconstruction and prioritizing conservation in collections curation for future studies.

Open Access

We conducted audience surveys at three major peach producer meetings across the United States. We found that the relative importance assigned to fruit quality and tree traits by producers varied across producers’ end markets. Fresh peach producers indicated fruit flavor and size were the most important fruit quality traits, whereas processed peach producers viewed fruit size, fruit firmness, and absence of split pits as being the most important traits for a successful peach cultivar. These results have potential to ensure that peach breeding programs are consonant with fresh and processed peach producers’ needs for fruit and tree traits.

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