Tree Fruit Breeding

Tree Fruit Breeding

Tree Fruit Breeding. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Washington State University has a number of programs in place that are doing research on apples, cherries and soon to be pears. Kate Evans with WSU says one common factor helps.

EVANS: One great thing about all of those crops they’re all very closely related. They’re all members of the rosaceae. And in terms of breeding and the whole of the genomics/genetics team, the fact that these crops are all interrelated in some way really helps in terms of the underpinning science behind the breeding program.

She says at the moment they are doing traditional breeding and selection research.

EVANS: We are choosing parents which obviously depending on what the targets of our program are we choose parents accordingly. We make crosses. We collect seed. We rear seedlings. We do levels of selection. In apple we do some budding, in cherry it kind of moves straight through to a selection orchard.

But that is not all that is happening in these research areas.

EVANS: Here in Washington State we’re pretty much at the forefront of developing new technologies and tools that can be applied to the breeding program at various different positions in that program.

Evans was speaking to the tree fruit industry recently and tomorrow we’ll talk more about some of those tools and technologies WSU is using to move ahead in tree fruit research.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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