Phenotypic segregation of seedling UCB-1 hybrid pistachio rootstock

Ewelina Jacygrad, John E. Preece, William J. Palmer, Richard Michelmore, Deborah Golino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Key message: The growth of UCB-1 pistachio rootstock seedlings in the earliest years is a poor predictor of subsequent growth. Therefore, rogueing during the 1st years of growth is not effective. Abstract: The UCB-1 hybrid, produced from a controlled cross between Pistacia atlantica (female) and P. integerrima (male), is the main pistachio rootstock used in the USA. Variation has been observed in orchards planted with seedling UCB-1 rootstocks for over 20 years. Reduced vigor and stunting of some trees are of particular concern to growers due to decreased nut yield. This study was conducted to better understand the growth of non-grafted UCB-1, as well as between UCB-1 rootstock and Pistacia vera scions in commercial orchards. Phenotypic traits were evaluated in the non-grafted orchard. Grafted tree data were collected for both P. vera female scions and their UCB-1 seedling rootstocks in commercial orchards. The uniformity of tree height, trunk caliper, and canopy volume decreased annually during the first 5 years of growth. Individual tree growth was not linear and was poorly synchronized among siblings, causing the population to become increasingly less uniform as it aged. Consequently, growth in the earliest years is a poor predictor of subsequent growth. The strongest correlation was between growth parameters during the later years. There was a significant correlation between rootstock and scion caliper of the grafted trees in commercial orchards, with the least vigorous rootstocks producing the least vigorous scions. These data confirm the need to reliably rogue out seedlings that later will not be vigorous; however, our data show that rogueing based on the 1st years of growth is ineffective. This study suggests the need to develop predictive molecular markers for rootstock vigor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-541
Number of pages11
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Grafting
  • Pistacia atlantica
  • Pistacia integerrima
  • Pistacia vera
  • Propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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