INVENTOR: David Byrne, Stone Fruit Breeder, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX

COLLABORATOR: Natalie Anderson, Research Associate, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Photo: D. Byrne, TAMU

What makes ‘White Zest One’ special?

‘White Zest One’ is a medium chill (500-550 chill units) peach, with striking white flesh that bleeds slightly from the deep blush on the skin. It has traditional acid balance (sweet-tart), and is a melting flesh peach with a semi-freestone pit. Full bloom occurs 4-5 days before ‘June Gold’ and about two weeks before ‘Scarlet Pearl’. ‘White Zest One’ bloom also occurs with or slightly before ‘White Delight One’ and ‘White Delight Two’.

When was the cross made?

The cross was made in 2003 and planted into the high density nursery in 2004. It was selected in 2006 for further evaluation. A typical timeframe from cross to cultivar release is 12-18 years!

What is the pedigree of ‘White Zest One’?

‘White Zest One’ is one of a number of seedlings from a cross between TX3D45W, a white-fleshed seedling, and ‘TropicPrince’ that was planted in 2004. In 2006, it was selected for further evaluation and designated as TX3C331W. Interestingly, TX3D45W, one of the parents of ‘White Zest One’ has a complex background with ‘O’Henry’ (yellow-flesh), ‘Giant Babcock’ (white-flesh), ‘Redwing’ (white-flesh), and ‘Red Delight’ (nectarine, yellow-flesh) present in its heritage.

Are there other siblings from this cross that have commercial potential?

Nothing that will be released.

Will this cultivar be used in RosBREED and how?

This cultivar is in the mix of parents in the families being used in the postharvest work. It has good postharvest life and has been crossed with a couple selections that have excellent postharvest life. The relative postharvest durability of these will be characterized this year.

Any other interesting notes about ‘White Zest One’?

This peach was evaluated in three different sites that were medium to medium-high chill; however, in lower chill conditions, it developed a slight suture bulge and tip (slightly misshapen).

Why should growers want to grow ‘White Zest One’?

In the 1990s, the Prunus Breeding and Genetics Program at TAMU began to develop a series of early to mid-season ripening peach and nectarine cultivars adapted to the low-medium chill zone (300-600 CU) for the southern U.S. The objective was to improve on the current cultivars and expand on the types of stone fruit products available. Over the last several years, the TAMU program has released the ‘Royal Zest’ peach series (yellow-fleshed, traditional acid flavor), the ‘White Delight’ peach series (white-fleshed, low acid sweet flavor), the ‘Flat Delight’ peaches (low acid donut peaches), the ‘Golden Zest’ peach (yellow peach, non-melting flesh), and the ‘White Zest One’ peach (white-flesh, sweet acid flavor). This gives the growers in the medium chill zone improved cultivars (better color, shape, firmness) as well as more types of products (white-fleshed, low-acid flavor, donut shape) to offer their clientele.