Apricot is in the Rosaceae family within the genus Prunus L., subgenus Prunophora Focke, and the section Armeniaca (Lam.) Koch. Depending on the classification system, the number of apricot species ranges from 3 to 12. Six distinct species are usually recognized: P. brigantina Vill., P. holosericeae Batal, P. armeniaca L., P. mandshurica (Maxim), P. sibirica L., Japanese apricot P. mume (Sieb.) Sieb. & Succ. Vavilov placed apricot in three centers of origin: the Chinese center (Central and Western China), the Central Asiatic center (Afghanistan, northwest India and Pakistan, Kashmir, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Xinjing province in China and western Tien-Shan), and the Near-Eastern center (interior of Asia Minor). Kostina further divided the cultivated apricot according to their adaptability into four major ecogeographical groups: (1) the Central Asian group, (2) the Iran-Caucasian group, (3) the European group, and (4) the Dzhungar-Zailij group. Many local cultivars are grown in the different areas and producing countries; however, these cultivars lack important traits that needed by modern production and marketing systems. Breeding programs have and continue to develop cultivars with improved adaptability to the environment (temperature requirements, water deficit), extension of the harvest -season, fruit quality for fresh consumption and processing, productivity, adequate tree size, and resistance to biotic stresses. The major objectives in apricot breeding -programs are resistance to sharka caused by Plum Pox Virus, brown rot caused by Monilinia spp., bacterial diseases caused by Pseudomonas spp. and Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni (Smith), Chlorotic Leaf Roll Phytoplasma, and Apricot Decline Syndrome. Among these, PPV is the most limiting factor in Europe and much work has to be invested in developing PPV-resistant apricot cultivars. Molecular markers have been developed in apricot and used mainly for construction of linkage maps and genetic diversity studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)