A couple youtube videos on breeding efforts

2021: “Ksenija Gasic: Starting from scratch: Peach breeding at Clemson University”

Clemson’s peach program was restarted by Dr. Ksenija Gasic in 2008 and hasn’t had a release yet. She’s been working on bacterial spot resistance and brown spot resistance. A grad student of hers found genetic markers for bacterial spot and they’ve been using a test for it to cull plants out of their program. Same story for brown rot but it’s polygenic with ~14 markers associated, and resistance is from a brazilian landrace that’s rubbery and not very colored so it’s been a long process to get enough of those markers into colored, melting fruit.

Breeding programs can take 15+ years to start to release anything. She now has one advanced selection near release. Once the pipeline is filled up we can expect more frequent releases.

2021: " Apple breeding at Cornell University"

2017: “Susan Brown: Adventures in apple breeding and genetics”

Dr. Susan Brown has been working on tree fruit breeding at Cornell for a couple decades. A couple talks about some apple breeding stuff.


A lot more Clemsons are needed.
Be interesting to keep up and see their progress.

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“Gennaro Fazio: 50 years of breeding the Geneva® series of apple rootstocks”

main takeaway is, wow these things take a long time to release


2021: “Grape breeding at Cornell University”

  • working on low- or no-spray wine grapes
  • able to stack resistance genes using markers
  • studied hermaphrodite flower locus
  • a short history of powdery mildew resistance coming from muscadine crosses

new (to me) release “everest seedless” table grape similar to concord but with much larger berries

not available to me for a few more years because of exclusive licensing, but on my radar now


Thanks for posting these! My main reason for not growing peaches (although they would be at the top of my list) is lack of disease resistance. I’m betting this one will make a big wave if it is successful in the breeding goals.

That’s great news for the peaches. Having the genetic markers identified should speed up the breeding process a lot. Once a seedling exists genetic testing should quickly reveal whether or not it will be resistant to brown rot and bacterial spot.

On a related note, I know several state universities in the southeast also have fruit breeding programs focused on specific fruits:

  1. Kentucky State- pawpaws
  2. University of Georgia- muscadines
  3. University of Arkansas- blackberries
  4. Auburn (formerly?)- plums
  5. North Carolina State, University of Georgia- blueberries
  6. Louisiana State University (formerly) figs
  7. Clemson, University of Florida, University of Georgia-peaches
    8 Others?

There’s probably others I’ve forgotten about or missed. Some things I wish someone would work on for the southeast

  1. Mulberries. The trees are vigorous, productive, few pests, some of the rubra/alba “wild” hybrids I’ve tasted are truly outstanding, others are terrible. Breeding for smaller size and precociousness. Many sites say 10 years to fruit.
  2. Passionfruit (passiflora incarnata). Southeast native, ornamental and fruitful, fruits the first year so very precocious, only one significant disease/pest but at least it turns into a beautiful fritillary butterfly. This year I’ve tasted at least 15 varieties of apples, 6 or 7 peach varieties, 6 or 7 blueberries, at least 7 different plums, 1 paw paw, strawberries, serviceberries, mangos, pineapple, unknown dried jujube, kiwi, 5 figs, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, several muscadines, 5 or 6 pears, and I’m sure some others. My absolute favorite taste was a fresh passionfruit from my yard. Breeding for more productivity, larger fruit size, and greater flesh/seed ratio would be great.
  3. Apples, of course. Breeding for disease resistance, especially fireblight and the various rots and blotches.

Perhaps someone is working on these and I’m just unaware.


I don’t believe any university south of the Mason-Dixon line is working on apples. U of Arkansas might have at some point in the past.

Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Rutgers I think have current programs … Minnesota being the most active, most successful, longest running.

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the thing that stuck out to me was one of the genetic tests she mentioned was now $1/cull. that’s incredible! it makes me want to keep watching and waiting until I can work with this stuff in my greenhouse where I could do a couple thousand liners a year


2012: Peter Cousins “Exercises in Grapevine Breeding and Genetics”
he lists some oddities found while developing nematode-resistant rootstocks. I don’t know much about grape breeding but some of the population study results were pretty neat

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2021: Benjamin Gutierrez “USDA-ARS Apple/Tart Cherry Germplasm Collection”

I know a bunch of people on this site have gotten scions from here. great short overview. highlights: surefire cherry vs. montmorency. about 500 scion requests a year. reintroduced wild apples back to kazakhstan


2021: Jim Luby “Apple Breeding at the University of Minnesota”

their program might be growing out 20-30k seedlings at any time, and breeders may need to taste ~500 apples a day in order to end up with one named variety every few years

their newest apples are MN80 (2021), MN55 (2014), MN 447 (2008), Wildung (2006), Minneiska (2006), and Minnewashta (1999)

so I guess that’s 6 in 22 years?


Here is a video about seedless muscadine breeding at the Univ. of Arkansas. The first third is about breeding and the rest is about vineyard management and questions.


thanks that was great. I liked their admiration for Jeff Bloodworth trying for 30 years to bring in seedlessness and finally getting it. I didn’t know he had that breeding agreement (he has a patent on a method of seedless breeding through 2035)


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not breeding efforts - just good videos on washington state’s apples, pears and cherries. the cherry video reminded me that I’d really like to find PC7146-23/“chelan” (early) and 13S2009/“staccato” or SPC 103/“sentennial” (late self fertile) for sale but they aren’t really a thing in the retail trade yet


ok another “not a breeding video” sorry but this was great. and I’m not even interested in my own cider production

David Zakalik: Cider Apples in America: From Plymouth Rock to Prohibition

some paraphrased quotes/summaries -
cider in the US is disconnected from tradition - traditionally many random varieties, especially seedling apples which may have been planted as rootstocks but then grown out and turned out to be “not good enough to eat but good enough for cider”. and there were us-bred cider apples but those have fallen out of favor vs. the euro cider apples. the euro cider apples that dominate today have some inherent drawbacks in use because they come from a less harsh climate and different disease conditions

english/french cider is made exclusively with ground-fallen apples. the us is moving that way. apples do tree ripen and so ground fall can mean peak ripeness. and bruising can change the tannins for the better, depending on your goal

he highlights a couple crabapple or other malus species apples that are ridiculously tannic or acidic that have fallen out of favor but which would have been useful ingredients, depending on goals

also a couple american cider apples that he found were commonly prized for single-variety ciders and planted in large blocks

“of course damaged or diseased apples were used frequently for cider… otherwise why would the wizened old cider dudes so frequently say not to?”

“the us cider market is dominated by products made with apple juice concentrate from china or poland… industrial products rather than what we’d think of as traditional cider… so it’s all sweet”


Here is the latest video out of UMinn.

Apple Breeding and the Rise of Honeycrisp


Hard to believe that with the thousands of apple varieties we have, we need more.

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