B.L. Topp, G.W. Bignell, D.M. Russell, P. Wilk
The low-chill peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) breeding program at Maroochy Research Station, Nambour, Queensland was initiated in 1996 in response to industry requests for new peach and nectarine cultivars adapted to subtropical Australia. The program aims to develop a range of high quality peach and nectarine cultivars with both melting and non-melting flesh, with chilling requirements of 100 to 400 chill units (CU) but an emphasis on 150 CU or less.
The program’s breeding strategies have included collection and evaluation of germplasm from Australia, Europe, America and Asia, hybridisation with the industry standard ‘Tropic Beauty’ peach, inter-crossing of subtropical and temperate parents and incorporation of non melting flesh.
Fruit characteristics being selected are large size, high flavour, firm flesh and early ripening. Important tree characteristics being selected are low chilling requirement, moderate crop load and compact tree habit.
Over 20,000 seedlings have been produced and 53 selections propagated for second stage evaluation. Three peach and two nectarine selections have been released for large scale evaluation from 2006 to 2009.
Topp, B.L., Bignell, G.W., Russell, D.M. and Wilk, P. (2012). BREEDING LOW-CHILL PEACHES IN SUBTROPICAL QUEENSLAND. Acta Hortic. 962, 109-116
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.962.14
plant breeding, Prunus persica, evaluation, Australia, nectarine

Acta Horticulturae