ADVANCES IN PEACH AND NECTARINE BREEDING AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA

W.M. Pieterse, W.J.C. Smith, E. Lotz
The Breeding and Evaluation unit of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Infruitec-Nietvoorbij uses conventional methods such as controlled crosses and recurrent mass selection to address the needs of the dessert and processing industries. The long-term objective is to breed a full range of high quality peach and nectarine cultivars ripening from very early (harvesting week 43) to very late (harvesting week 10) with the following attributes:
a) Cold storage ability
b) Desirable pomological attributes
c) Adapted to diversity of SA climatic conditions
d) Innovative cultivars
During the period 2000 until 2007, 52 new yellow- and 21 white flesh peach selections, without blush for processing and 53 yellow flesh and 2 white flesh selections with full red skin colour aimed at the dessert industry, were identified. During the same period 124 full red and 23 yellow skin nectarine selections were identified. All these selections were promoted to the second phase of evaluation where budded trees are evaluated on different sites representative of the diversity of climatic conditions of the different fruit producing areas of South Africa. During this stage of evaluation fruit samples are evaluated for cold storage ability and/or processing potential.
Five new peach cultivars and nine new nectarine cultivars have been released to the industry from 2000 until 2007. Three of the newly released nectarine cultivars have yellow skinned fruit with excellent drying characteristics and are marketed under the ColorburstTM trademark. During the 2006/2007 season 70.5% of the total peach cartons and 46% of the total nectarine cartons exported from South Africa were of cultivars developed by the ARC breeding program. It can be concluded that the breeding program has a substantial impact on the South African peach and nectarine industry in generating foreign income and keeping the industry competitive on the international markets.
Pieterse, W.M., Smith, W.J.C. and Lotz, E. (2012). ADVANCES IN PEACH AND NECTARINE BREEDING AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 962, 75-79
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.962.9
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.962.9
colorburst, cold storage, processing potential, pomological attributes
English

Acta Horticulturae