Genetic progress of the peach breeding program of Embrapa over 16 years

Abstract The peach breeding program of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), addressing the adaptation to mild winter conditions, is one of the largest in the world and maintains a germplasm collection of nearly 900 accessions. The objective was to estimate the genetic progress in fruit weight (FW) and fruit development period (FDP) resulting from the above program, by analyzing data records of 16 years (2000 - 2015) of 65 genotypes. Based on samples of ≥ 10 fruits, the mean annual FW (in g) and FDP (in number of days) from full flowering to harvest were determined. In the 16 years, the gain in FDP consisted of respective reductions of about -12.8, -3.3, -2.8 days for canning peach, fresh peach and nectarine. However, the genetic progress in fruit weight was 5.3, 1.4 and -17.9 g fruit-1 for canning peach, fresh peach and nectarine, respectively.