Overview of Romanian peach breeding
Foreign peach cultivars were mainly introduced to Romania after the establishment of Istrița Nursery in 1893. Until the end of the Second World War, state and private fruit nurseries and pomologists were the main actors in introducing, selecting and testing new cultivars. After 1949, a breeding program was started under the coordination of Prof. Nicolae Constantinescu at the Institute of Agronomic Research of Romania in București. With the creation of the Research Institute for Horticulture and Viticulture, in 1957, peach breeding started a new era and researchers such as P. Popa were actively involved in crossing and selection at the Băneasa Station. A second stage started after 1960 with the establishment of Pitești-Mărăcineni Fruit Research and Production Institute and several Regional Fruit Research and Production Stations (FRPS). Using the genetic material introduced from different countries such as USA, Italy, France, China, etc., a large range of crossings were made at Constanța and Băneasa FRPS, both specialized in peach breeding. The main objectives were to obtain a complete range of peach cultivars from early to late ripening, with good agronomic and edible features, adapted to the Romanian climate, tolerant or resistant to diseases etc. In parallel, a rootstock breeding program was started at Constanța, Oradea and Pitești-Mărăcineni. Besides the selection of peach seedling rootstocks for generative propagation, another direction was to select myrobalan types or myrobalan × peach hybrids more adapted to the heavy and cold soils existing in some production areas. After 1990, some other breeding directions have been adopted: creation of dwarf cultivars and flat peaches and nectarines, and improvements in disease tolerance and resistance. The Romanian peach breeding program has produced over 60 cultivars and nearly 20 rootstocks. Further development is needed to obtain new genotypes adapted to the local growing conditions, especially hard winters, but with superior fruit qualities.
Stănică, F., Dumitru, L.M. and Ivașcu, A. (2021). Overview of Romanian peach breeding. Acta Hortic. 1304, 1-12
Prunus persica, hybridization, selection, cultivars, rootstocks