Breeding and Genetics of Prunus and Rosa Adapted to Mild Winter Humid Climates Grant uri icon


  • Both projects are applied breeding programs focussed on the enhanced adaptation (disease resistance, heat tolerance) and improved quality (enhanced post harvest)novelty of the developed cultivars. The approach involves yearly cycles of hybridization and phenotypic selection with substantial effort going to finding and utilizing new germplasm in the breeding programs.In peaches the most important objectives are early ripening, low to medium chill adaptation, heat tolerant, resistance to bacterial leaf spot, excellent post harvest quality, and unique fruit types for the fresh fruit market. In rose the important traits are resistance to foliage diseases, resistance to rose rosette disease, tolerance to heat stress, high flower production, compact plant shape and a series of unique flower trpes for the garden rose market.Beyond the applied breeding work, the program strives to improve the efficiency of the breeding process by understanding the germplasm diversity, the genetics of specific traits and the identification/validation of markers useful in the rapid selection of specific traits. This work involves the careful characterization of key traits, the molecular characterization of the plant's DNA, and the analysis of this germplasm with specialized software. The molecular characterization approach usesthe rapidly improving ability to sequence plant DNA. This genotyping by sequencing approach to DNA characterization can produce 1000s of genetic markers to monitor genes/alleles as they move through the generations and subsequently give us a powerful selection tool which can work on the DNA level. This DNA-informed approach to breeding will improve the ability to develop new well adpated rose and peach cultivars more efficiently.

date/time interval

  • 2015 - 2020