The Texas A&M Stone Fruit Breeding Program works to develop superior early-ripening, low and medium-chill stone fruit cultivars to replace marginal commercial cultivars and to extend the harvest seasons in mild winter regions throughout the world. The program utilizes the techniques of embryo rescue to germinate the seeds of early ripening genotypes and we continuously conduct research to improve the sucess rate of this procedure.
The major germplasm groups of peaches, plums, and apricots have been characterized over the years using RAPD, isozyme, and morphological polymorphisms and now with SSRs and SNPs to study genetic relationships among these groups and their progenitor species.
Quantitative traits of peaches are being studied for their genetic inheritance. Work with the RosBREED project is developing marker-trait associations that will be useful in the acceleration of the breeding process.
We are involved in cooperative efforts in mild winter regions of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia to evaluate germplasm and to cooperate on hybridization efforts.