Worldwide, plum is one of the main species, occupying an area of about 2,600,000 ha and ensuring production about 11,700,000 tons. Even though there are over 6000 plum cultivars belonging to 19–40 species, there is still the need to create new cultivars due to the demands of growers and consumers. In addition, the large plum-growing countries (Romania, Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, etc.) have decreased production due to plum pox virus (PPV) attack. Therefore, these countries developed breeding programs with the following objectives: resistance/tolerance to PPV, productivity, fruit quality, late blooming, self-fertility, different ripening times, short growing period, spur fructification, etc. Using different breeding methods (controlled hybridization, open pollination, selection in wild population on Prunus sp., and mutagenesis), in the last years, over 450 plum cultivars were released, from which 70% represent European cultivars and 30% Japanese cultivars.
Part of the book: Prunus