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Bloom, fruit development, and embryo development of peaches in a mild-winter region, and use of percent dry weight of ovule as a maturity index
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Bloom and fruit development patterns, stratification-germination data, and temperature data were examined for a 15-year period of the Texas A&M University Stone Fruit Breeding Program. Additionally, dry weight accumulation patterns of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were examined, and percent dry weight of ovule (PDO) was studied as an embryo maturity index for stratification-germination in the breeding program. Differences in bloom times of 5 bloom period (BP) reference cultisms resulted in different temperature regimes experienced during fruit development for each if the cultisms. Mean temperature during 0-50 days after full bloom was the best predictor of length of fruit development period (FDP), and the relationship was strongest in the earliest-blooming cultisms. Lower temperatures experienced by the earliest-blooming cultivar, 'Earligrande' regulated FDP length, resulting in a change in FDP of 4.8 days per IC change. Fruit growth rate for the latest-blooming cultivar, 'Harvester', may have been relatively optimized by higher temperatures, resulting in a change in FDP of only 1 day per IC change. In breeding population genotypes, percent survival of seedlings (PCTS) was best correlated with length of FDP, and to a lesser extent with mean temperatures doing fruit development. Mean temperatures during all of FDP were more highly correlated with PCTS than mean temperatures during any segment of FDP, and the relationship was strongest for genotypes grouped into the latest-blooming BP. Mean PCTS increased with increasing mean temperatures during FDP, but there was a critical demarcation where mean temperature became much more favorable for embryo growth. Mean minimum temperature (MINFDP) >16C, mean maximum temperature (MAXFDP) >27C, and mean temperature during FDP (MFDP) >22C were identified as favorable temperature regimes. Percent dry weight of ovule (PDO) was equivalent to percent dry weight of embryo (PDE) as an index of embryo maturity in the breeding population, and was found to be a better predictor of PCTS than FDP. It was found that percent dry weight of ovule >30 was an acceptable indicator that the seed lot would have PCTS >70.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 61-67).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Bacon, Terry A (1999). Bloom, fruit development, and embryo development of peaches in a mild-winter region, and use of percent dry weight of ovule as a maturity index. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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