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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 976: XIII Eucarpia Symposium on Fruit Breeding and Genetics

BREEDING BLUSH PEARS (PYRUS COMMUNIS L.) IN SOUTH AFRICA

Author:   J.P. Human
Keywords:   pear cultivars, pear genetics, inheritance
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.976.52
Abstract:
In South Africa, the breeding of a range of blush cultivars of pear (Pyrus communis) by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) at Infruitec-Nietvoorbij is a high priority because this pear type is still regarded on overseas markets as novel and commands a price premium over normal green/yellow cultivars. Early successes of the ARC in breeding blush cultivars such as ‘Rosemarie’, released in 1990 and ‘Flamingo’, released in 1993, and the extension of the range with the more recent cultivar ‘Cheeky’, released in 2009, created an opportunity for South African pear producers to capitalise on the high prices realised on export markets by these cultivars. In this study, five female parents ‘Rosemarie’ (blush), ‘Flamingo’ (blush), ‘Starkrimson’ (fully red), ‘Forelle’ (blush) and local Selection 8-24-63 (green) were crossed with a common male parent ‘Abate Fetel’ (green russetted), in order to investigate the inheritance of blush. Data from these five cross combinations indicated that families differ significantly with regard to blush and that some combinations transmit blush to their offspring more than others. The ‘Flamingo’ × ‘Abate Fetel’ progeny scored 7% good blush types, whereas both the ‘Rosemarie’ × ‘Abate Fetel’ and Selection 8-24-64 × ‘Abate Fetel’ progenies scored zero good blush types. No classical single gene Mendelian segregation was found for blush inheritance and in this study evidence suggests that duplicate recessive genes in both parents in all five combinations may contribute towards the blush trait.

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