BREEDING PEACHES FOR MILD WINTERS: RECENT RESULTS OF THE NON-MELTING PEACH BREEDING PROGRAM OF EMBRAPA, IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL
The peach breeding program of EMBRAPA, in southern Brazil has focused, since its start in 1963, to develop cultivars, adapted to mild winters producing non-melting flesh fruits, as one of the priorities. Initially, this type of fruit was aimed for processing. However, in the last 20 years, such cultivars are being used for the fresh market as well. Examples of them are cultivars like: Sensação, Granada, Eldorado and Leonense. During the first years of this breeding program, the main objective was to extend the harvesting season. More recently, emphasis has been given to the development of early ripening fruits and fruit quality (mainly fruit size, firmness and flavor). In 2009, EMBRAPA is releasing two non-melting peach cultivars which produce non-melting flesh fruits. One of them, BRS Âmbar, tested as selection Conserva 803, produces large sized fruits with juicy non-melting flesh of yellow-orange color. The ripening time starts by the end of November or the first days of December, under the conditions of southern Rio Grande do Sul state. Another cultivar being released is BRS Libra, which ripens very early and was tested under the selection Conserva 1125. Its fruits ripen one week to ten days before Pepita, the earliest non-melting commercial cultivar currently. The fruits are round, aromatic and have a fairly good taste considering their earliness. However, three other selections, being tested, ripen nearly two weeks before Libra. Size and sugar content still need to be improved. Diameters of 5.0 to 5.6 cm can be obtained in fruits of these selections but early thinning and use of irrigation could increase them. The total soluble solid content varies between 7 and 12 °Brix depending on the climatic conditions of the year, but it is usually higher in Conserva 1125. As far as firmness is concerned, several new selections have very firm flesh, some even leaning toward crispy. However, as several other selections, they need to be further tested, for productivity, disease resistance, etc.
do C. Bassols Raseira, M. and Nakasu, B.H. (2012). BREEDING PEACHES FOR MILD WINTERS: RECENT RESULTS OF THE NON-MELTING PEACH BREEDING PROGRAM OF EMBRAPA, IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL. Acta Hortic. 962, 29-34
Prunus persica, peach, breeding, low chilling