Selected segregating progenies are also assessed for inheritance studies, particularly for fruit quality traits and disease resistance. A trained panel of 18 tasters is employed to assess flavour and taste of the most promising selections, by the following quantitative descriptors: odour intensity (on cut fruit, off-flavours included), sweetness and acidity and their balance, bitter, astringency, aroma, juiciness, firmness. Finally, the panellists are asked to express their hedonistic appreciation in terms of odour, flavour, texture (as a result of firmness, juiciness, and mealiness), pleasantness, other than an overall quality evaluation. The score range is 1 to 9 for all descriptors.
The breeding stock for apricot and peach is made up of about 20,000 seedlings and around one hundred advanced selections, other than more than 500 accessions from the germplasm bank including commercial and local cultivars, other than landraces. Latest introductions have been the early ripening yellow flesh peaches ‘Pulchra*’ and ‘Bordò*’, as well as five yellow nectarines: ‘Rebus028*’, ‘Rebus038*’, ‘Rebus195*’, ‘Dulcis®’ and ‘Dulciva®’. Apricot cultivars patented in recent years are ‘Bora®’, ‘Gemma®’, ‘Pieve*’ and ‘Petra®’.