Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


STONE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 246795
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: France

Stone fruit keep up with the times

Growing and breeding industries for plums, peaches, cherries and apricots are facing new threats. Maintaining flavour, texture and yield under changing climatic conditions is a considerable challenge.
Stone fruit keep up with the times
Another significant problem for the stone fruit Prunus species is sharka disease caused by the Plum pox virus (PPV). Spread by aphids and causing deformed and acid fruit, the disease can only be tackled by destruction of the whole tree.

The EU-funded STONE (Genetic diversity of stone fruit trees (peach, apricot and cherry) in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia) project has looked for nature's answers in the genetic pool of the stone fruit.

The researchers have compared the genetic diversity of European, Caucasian and central Asian apricot, peach and cherry germplasms. An ambitious task, they focused on the genes with an involvement in pathogen resistance and flower induction through climate change.

To cover the geographic regions, STONE organised staff exchanges between institutes in Europe, Germany and France as well as Azerbaijan, China and Turkey. The STONE IRSES scheme provided collaboration opportunities to 42 researchers and supported research staff over the four year project duration.

STONE research successfully defined a pool of alleles from different species of Prunus together with the corresponding phenotypic variability. The genetic diversity was traced mostly in apricot and to a lesser extent in peach and cherry.

Applications using the wide range of alleles identified by STONE research are not restricted to disease control. Exploring the genetic basis of stone fruit evolution as well as other features of agricultural importance can also be integrated into breeding programmes.

Related information


Stone fruit, climate, Prunus, plum pox potyvirus, genetic diversity, allele
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