Development of Peach Research and the National Germplasm Repository

Peach research has a long history in Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS). The major work of the research focuses on three aspects: peach germplasm conservation and utilization, peach genetics and breeding, and cultivation techniques.


Since the establishment of National Fruit Germplasm Repository for Peach and Strawberry in late 1980th, more than 700 peach accessions both nationwide and abroad have been preserved in the repository, including Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, P. davidiana (Carr.) Franch. P. kansuensis Rehd., P. ferganensis Kost. Et Riab., P. mira Koehne, P. potaninii Batal..

Ornamental peach with different tree type and flower color


The Projects which were subsidized by Ministry of Science and technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Jiangsu Provincial Government have been executed on peach germplasm evaluation and documentation by means of the descriptors. The genetic evolution and the diversity of different peach groups were analyzed by SSR. The local varieties of yellow flesh peach showed more diversity compared with varieties in USA, Europe and some other countries in Asia. Collecting and preserving the local varieties is one of our major works. Our survey shows that the crisp peach varieties from the area along the Yangzi River may not only come from the north group, but also from the YunGui plateau ecological zones as well as subtropical ecological zones in southern China. We identified a primary core collection of 99 accessions and detected these accessions well represented primal resources. We also work on the population structure of local cultivars in China and evaluate the phytochemicals of peach germplasm, including carotenoids compositions, phenolic compounds, etc..


Dendrogram of yellow peach populations by genetic distance


Breeding new peach varieties with high quality, long shelf life and quality assurance during shipping is another major research object of our group. 31 new varieties have been released, including peach, nectarine, flat peach, and flat nectarine. Some of them are widely planted or used to be the main cultivars in production. The breeding blood-flesh peach varieties with high antioxidant capacity and planting of rootstocks resistant to peach gummosis are emphasized recently.



Xiahui 8—a late-ripening peach cultivar


Jiaxiayoupan—a new flat-nectarine cultivar


Collaborated with Genetics and Breeding of Fruit and Vegetables of INRA (France), we study molecular markers and QTLs linked to specific characteristics and controlled characterizations and genetic mapping of blood-flesh trait by a single dominant locus DBF and a recessive locus bf respectively in peach.


Modern cultivation techniques, concerning saving labour, improving fruit quality, and integrated pest management are also innovated.


Our research group has 15 employees including 2 professors and 2 associate professors. In addition, 2 postdoctors and 4 master graduates are doing the research in the institute.


Great achievements in peach research and the spirit of ‘Exploration, innovation and utilization of elite peach germplasm’ in our group won the Second Prize of Science and Technology awarded by Jiangsu Provincial Government in 2013.


Recent Publications:

  1. Ma R, Yu M, Shen Z. Progress on the Research of Peach Germplasm Resources and Breeding in China. The Asian and Australasian Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology 1(1): 29-32 ©2007 Global Science Books.
  2. Yu M, Wang W, Ma R, Shen Z, Fang J. An improved strategy based on RAPD markers efficiently identified 95 peach cultivars. Genetics and Molecular Research. 2012,11(2):1158-1168.
  3. Zhang C, Zhang Y, Guo L, Han J, Li X, Ma R, Yu M. Characterization of the miR165 family and its target gene Pp-ATHB8 in Prunus persica. Scientia Horticulturae. 2012,146:21-28.
  4. Zhang C, Shangguan L, Ma R, Sun X, Tao R, Guo L, N.K. Korir, Yu M. Genome-wide analysis of the AP2/ERF superfamily in peach (Prunus persica). Genetics and Molecular Research. 2012,11(4):4789-4809.
  5. Zhang C, Shen Z, Zhang Y, Han J, Ma R, Nicholas Kibet Korir, Yu M. Cloning and expression of genes related to the sucrose-metabolizing enzymes and carbohydrate changes in peach. Acta Physiol Plant,2013,35(2):589-602.
  6. Shen Z, Carole Confolent, Patrick Lambert, Jean-Luc Poëssel, Bénédicte Quilot-Turion, Yu M, Ma R, Thierry Pascal. Characterization and genetic mapping of a new blood-flesh trait controlled by the single dominant locus DBF in peach. Tree Genetics & Genomes, 2013(9):1435-1446.
  7. Song Z, Yang Y, Xu J, Ma R, Yu M. Physiological and transcriptional responses in the iron-sulphur cluster assembly pathway under abiotic stress in peach (Prunus persica L.) seedlings. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture. 2014,117(3):419-430.
  8. Zhang C, Ma R, Shen Z, Sun X, N.K. Korir, Yu M. Genome-wide analysis of the homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP) gene family in peach (Prunus persica). Genetics and Molecular Research. 2014,11(2):2654-2668.