Canning peach breeding and evaluation program (CF10003)
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What was it all about?
New canning peach varieties that delivered improved quality and greater yields were vital to the survival of the Australian canned fruit industry. Cultivars with resistance to major pest and diseases and adaptability to climatic change also provided more sustainable cultivars for future development of the industry.
Breeding over the last 4 decades had developed high quality and productive canning peach cultivars such as Tatura 204 (200 series) and Tatura Blaze (300 series). However these cultivars were very susceptible to fungal infection by brown rot. Brown rot was the most economically damaging disease of canning peaches and costs the industry millions of dollars to control annually. A brown rot resistant peach selection F8,5-159 derived from a cross between almond and peach was imported from the Californian Canning Peach Breeding Program in 2006. F8,5-159 had subsequently been crossed with a range of Australian peach cultivars to transfer across genes for brown rot resistance.
Selections were made from these seedling populations over the next few years and would then undergo productivity, quality and disease resistance evaluations to develop new brown rot resistant cultivars for the Australian peach processing industry.
New selections have also been bred using the white Korean peach cultivar Yumyeong. Yumyeong had slight resistance to brown rot, high productivity and contains the stony hard gene which prevents normal fruit ripening. Stony hard cultivars stay firm on the tree due to the absence of ethylene production which caused fruit softening. They can be control ripened to the desired eating attributes by the addition of ethylene at the time of processing. Ethylene was a natural ripening agent also utilised in the banana industry to ripen green bananas prior to delivery to the fresh market.
SAB383 and SAB392 were melting, white fleshed selections produced from a cross between Yumyeong and the yellow fleshed processing peach Tatura 215. Stony hard, yellow flesh colour and non-melting texture were controlled by single, recessive genes. Self-pollination of SAB383 and SAB392 were used to produce a range of yellow and white fleshed progeny with either melting (soft), non-melting (firm) or stony hard flesh textures dependent upon the genetic recombination of these recessive genes. Twenty four seedlings of yellow fleshed fruit with either stony hard or non-melting flesh texture were selected for further evaluation.
A late season Italian peach cultivar, Gialla di Moavero had also been imported to cross with the late ripening Australian processing peach cultivars to extend the processing season into April. These seedlings populations will be evaluated over the next five years.
Two selections, SAB705 and SAB706 initially bred by the Department of Primary Industries Victoria and then evaluated by the SPC-Ardmona breeding and evaluation program have been recommended for commercial evaluation. SAB705 and SAB706 ripened between Tatura 204 and Tatura Blaze, had high canning yield potential and displayed quality attributes similar to Golden Queen. One thousand trees each of SAB705 and SAB706 were propagated for planting on five orchards in 2013. Another selection SAB725 which was derived from the white fleshed, stony hard parent Yumyeong by cross pollination with Tatura 204 had also been recommended for commercial evaluation on one orchard.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Canned Fruits Industry Council of Australia.
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