The RosBREED project addresses the need for genetic solutions to develop new cultivars with both disease resistance and superior horticultural quality in the Rosaceae crop family, including peach and cherry. The USDA-SCRI awarded project meets annually to discuss current local and regional breeding problems and includes a team of 35 scientists across 14 U.S. institutions as well as international collaborators. Within the program, the development of ARR resistant rootstocks for Prunus crops has been recognized as a high priority.
ARR Disease Summit
Despite all of the past and present efforts, a solution to the ARR problem is still elusive due to individual and localized efforts. Therefore, a national Armillaria summit at U.C. Davis was organized and held in August of 2017 following initiative from RosBREED industry stakeholder advisory committee members. The major goal of the summit was to unify efforts and discuss future activities required to address the ARR problem. The conclusion of the summit lead to the submission of a USDA planning grant application to gather researchers and growers in an effort to identify gaps in the research.
This spring, a USDA planning grant was submitted to bring together public and industry collaborators from across the nation with the intent of three expected outcomes:
- Develop an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and multi-state network of collaborators to provide ARR solutions and assess the state of the ARR problem and research efforts dedicated to finding the solution
- Determine realistic and achievable goals toward the development of ARR resistant rootstocks
- Coordinate a specific research plan to submit a full SCRI grant proposal