Breeding rootstocks for Prunus species: Advances in the genetic and genomics of peach and cherry as a model

Verónica Guajardo1*, Patricio Hinrichsen2, and Carlos Muñoz3
Prunus rootstock is an important choice in optimizing productivity of grafted cultivars. Nevertheless, many Prunus rootstocks are notoriously intolerant to hypoxia which is caused by waterlogging and/or heavy soils. There is no available information to help select Prunus rootstocks that are tolerant to stress conditions such as root hypoxia caused by excess moisture. Information from genetic maps has demonstrated a high level of synteny among Prunus species, and this suggests that they all share a similar genomic structure. It should be possible to identify the genetic determinants involved in tolerance to hypoxia and other traits in Prunus rootstocks by applying methods to identify regions of the genome involved in the expression of important traits; these have been developed mainly in peach which is the model species for the genus. Molecular markers that are tightly linked to major genes would be useful in marker-assisted selection (MAS) to optimize new rootstock selection. This article provides insight on the advances in the development of molecular markers, genetic maps, and gene identification in Prunus, mainly in peach; the aim is to provide a general approach for identifying the genetic determinants of hypoxia stress in rootstocks.
Keywords: Hypoxia, linkage map, marker-assisted selection, molecular markers, family Rosaceae
1Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Fruticultura (CEAF), Camino Las Parcelas 882, sector Los Choapinos, Rengo, Chile. *Corresponding author (vguajardo@ceaf.cl).
2Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA La Platina, Santa Rosa 11610, La Pintana, Santiago, Chile.
3Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Santa Rosa 11315, La Pintana, Santiago, Chile.