Combining Resources & Expertise
Poised to Initiate the FasTrack Project
In the breeding program at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV, we have shown that plums engineered with the 'early & continual flowering' (ECF) gene have produced ripe fruits with fertile seeds within one year versus the required 3-7 years in conventional breeding programs, and have transmitted this trait to plum seedlings in preliminary greenhouse studies (Fig. 1. EFC plums in the greenhouse).
Dr. Ralph Scorza, USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV, geneticist and stone fruit breeder, developer of the plum pox virus resistant transgenic plum variety ‘HoneySweet’, has been undertaking the FasTrack hybridization and selection program to combine the desired traits in the early flowering lines.
Dr. Ann Callahan, geneticist, USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station
Dr. Chris Dardick, molecular biologist, USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station
Dr. Chinnathambi Srinivasan, USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, tissue culture specialist and developer of the first ECF plums is developing additional ECF plum lines.
Professor Ted DeJong, Plant Scientist, is director of the major dried plum breeding program at the University of California, Davis. This program has developed a wide assortment of high quality genetic resources (germplasm) for dried plum production, using conventional breeding techniques, and maintains a repository of this material. This program has also conducted genetic studies of plum (DeBuse et al., 2005).
Dr. Albert Abbott, Clemson University, has been responsible for the accumulation of Prunus-wide molecular markers that will be needed in this project to determine parental contributions.
Dr. Jayson Harper, Penn State University, has been part of existing studies to determine the net worth of various fruit crops and the input values of irrigation and management practices
By combining the resources of the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, UC Davis, Clemson and Penn State programs, we are poised to rapidly develop improved germplasm that addresses the needs of the California Dried Plum Industry.