Arkansas Fruit Program Included In Second Phase of USDA Grant to Advance Marker-Assisted Breeding

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture fruit-breeding program is expanding its participation in the second phase of the USDA-funded research project to apply genetic marker technology to specialty crop breeding program around the United States. The research will focus on eight crops: apples, blackberries, peaches, pears, roses, strawberries, sweet cherries, and tart cherries. According to John Clark, University Professor of Horticulture and director of the Arkansas fruit-breeding program, the goal of the project is to implement DNA-based tools to complement traditional breeding process by increasing the efficiency of breeding fruits that are superior in quality and disease resistance. The results of the program RosBREED, Combining Disease Resistance with Horticultural Quality in New Rosaceous Cultivars, will be to bring many tools to fruit growers and consumers not only in Arkansas, but also throughout the country.

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