Towards a molecular breeding program for canning peaches (CF05002)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
New canning peach cultivars would be progressively released to the canning industry over the next 5 years as commercial trialling progresses. The breeding program, based at DPI Tatura, had been developing a series of peach cultivars over the last 15 years. These new cultivars had characteristics similar to the standard canning peach cultivar ‘Tatura 204’. They provided an even, high quality supply of peaches over the harvest period. The chill requirement of these new cultivars had also been reduced to enable them to adapt to warmer winters.
A large emphasis of the breeding program had been on improving the high productivity standard set by Tatura 204. Productivity evaluations have been made at a range of crop loads to determine the ability of each selection to size fruit. In 2008 a high proportion of selections under evaluation showed equal productivity to Tatura 204 at crop loads from 30 to 50 t/ha. One more year of evaluation would be undertaken at crop loads of more than 50 t/ha to identify the cultivars that could consistently produce the highest canning yields.
Two promising selections were identified with similar quality and yield attributes to Tatura 204 but later ripening dates. The mid February selection produced a commercial crop of fruit on 6 trial sites next season. It had a more upright growth habit, lighter fruit set and later bloom time than Tatura 204 but fruit quality and productivity were similar. A late February selection had been identified this year in the Tatura 222/Orrvale Queen harvest period. It had a similar bloom time to Tatura 204 but potentially higher productivity and high fruit quality.
After more than 7 decades of DPI research in the development of improved varieties of canning peaches for the Australian industry the breeding program closed in 2008. Over 60 per cent of the cultivars grown by the Australian Industry were developed by DPI Tatura, and as newer cultivars were released that proportion was destined to increase. The Canning Industry through SPC-Ardmona continued to breed peaches for future needs on a private basis and drive the commercialisation of cultivars released from the DPI program.
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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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