[NAFEX] Fwd: ARS Scientists Develop Self-pollinating Almond Trees
dwoodard at becon.org
Tue Apr 6 14:49:15 EDT 2010
Does anyone know whether this "without insect pollination" claim is true
or a journalist's idea?
I have understood that self-fertile fruit trees require insect
pollination because of the heavy, sticky pollen characteristic of
species that have evolved to use insect pollination.
I can see a reduced need for hive rentals with self-fertile cultivars,
maybe even being able to get along without rentals relying on solitary
bees, bumblebees etc., but I wonder able being able to dispense with
Being able to plant solid blocks of single cultivars would certainly be
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Lon J. Rombough wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
> STORY LEAD:
> ARS Scientists Develop Self-pollinating Almond Trees
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Alfredo Flores, (301) 504-1627, alfredo.flores at ars.usda.gov
> April 6, 2010
> --View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at
> --Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ARSInformation
> Self-pollinating almond trees that can produce a bountiful harvest
> without insect pollination are being developed by Agricultural Research
> Service (ARS) scientists. This is good news for almond growers who face
> rising costs for insect pollination because of nationwide shortages of
> honeybees due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and other factors.
> ARS geneticist Craig Ledbetter, at the agency’s Crop Diseases, Pests
> and Genetics Research Unit near Parlier, Calif., is developing this new
> line of self-pollinating almond trees.
> Self-pollinating almonds are not new. The Tuono variety, originally
> from Spain, has been around for centuries. But its traits are not
> attractive when compared to California’s most popular almond,
> Tuono’s seed coat has a hairy texture and it has a very thick shell, so
> only 32 percent of the nut is edible kernel, compared to 60 to 65
> percent for Nonpareil. But Tuono’s thick shell gives it more resistance
> to the navel orangeworm and other pests. An almond that has traits from
> both varieties would be ideal.
> Ledbetter and his collaborators used Tuono as the male (pollen) parent
> in conventional hybridizations with California-adapted almond cultivars
> and selections. The scientists made crosses at bloom time and came back
> at harvest time to collect the nuts. They then grew those nuts into
> seedlings and surrounded the branches with insect-proof nylon bags to
> exclude insects that could serve as pollinators. The seedlings bloomed
> and some produced fruits inside the bags, making these seedlings
> The original plantings in 1996 at first produced only small harvests,
> but by 2006 produced excellent results. In November 2008, after a very
> good almond harvest, Ledbetter and his team from Parlier brought eight
> very promising selections from his self-pollinating almond breeding
> program to the California Almond Board for evaluation.
> The board was pleased with the skin color, oil content and, most
> importantly, the flavor. And best of all, the new almonds have many of
> the same characteristics as Nonpareil, which sells for premium prices.
> Read more about this research in the April 2010 issue of Agricultural
> Research magazine.
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