Selections issued from CEP Innovation, Centrex and INRA: the apricot breeding program in France
French apricot production is located in the south-eastern part of the country, with a focused zone in the Rhone valley and close to the Mediterranean Sea. The north of the Rhone valley is characterized by a continental climate, while the southern region (Rhone valley and Mediterranean area) is under a warm, typically Mediterranean climate. Obviously, apricot fruit production depends on the development of a specific panel of cultivars in each area of cultivation because of economic and adaptation constraints. In order to enlarge the panel of cultivars for growers of each region, an integrated breeding program has been developed at a national level in France with the participation of INRA, Centrex and CEP Innovation. The main goals of the breeding program are: the elaboration of cultivars suitable for durable production (including resistance to pests and diseases), production regularity (including self-fertility and quality of the flowers), and fruit quality (including taste, attractiveness, and suitability for transport). The evaluation phase is organized in the three main French areas of production (Perpignan, Nîmes and Valence) with three complementary evaluation stages: (i) observation of hybrids on their own roots (ii) evaluation of pre-selections after grafting in the three main areas, and (iii) 'elite' agronomic and commercial assessments in small orchards. A tough diagnosis, that includes biological, serological and molecular analysis, is conducted in parallel for assessing resistance to Plum pox virus (PPV). The main results issued from this program are presented here, with 10 cultivars, including PPV-resistant Aramis® cultivars.
Fremondiere, G., Blanc, A., Gilles, F., Clauzel, G., Broquaire, J.M., Roch, G., Gouble, B., Bureau, S., Pitiot, C. and Audergon, J.M. (2018). Selections issued from CEP Innovation, Centrex and INRA: the apricot breeding program in France. Acta Hortic. 1214, 207-210
apricot cultivars, fruit quality, production regularity, extension range, durable production