USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative

Many of us know that fruit size is a challenge, but short of thinning at the proper time, from a scientific perspective we really know very little about how to manipulate fruit size in peach.  Thus, I’m collaborating with Dr. Anish Malladi at the University of Georgia, plus other scientists here at UF, and Clemson University to address this issue from a genetics, breeding, and field experiment approach.


We want to be able to, in the end, take the data we have collected and come up with an “app” or program that will allow a grower to put in a set of environmental parameters including budbreak date and then give a guideline of when a good thinning window would be.


Our title is: A systems approach for optimizing fruit size in southeastern peach production – and our objectives are to:


Obj. 1: To determine the effects of the timing and intensity of crop load reduction on peach fruit size characteristics

Obj. 2: To determine the key regulatory gene networks and candidate genes associated with peach fruit growth regulation using transcriptomics

Obj. 3: To Identify QTLs, related candidate genes and functional SNPs associated with peach fruit growth regulation

Obj. 4: To develop a thinning decision assist application for minimizing risk while optimizing peach fruit size for the southeast


If fruit size is an issue for your farm, would you consider writing a letter of support for this project?

Send letters to:

Mercy Olmstead, Ph.D.
Stone Fruit Extension Specialist
2135 Fifield Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

Letters need to be received by NOVEMBER 30th, 2015.  THANK YOU!!!