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FPS Pistachio Program

Foundation Plant Services (FPS) distributes 'true to type' material for select pistachio scion and rootstock cultivars.

To address concerns about the industry's reliance on a single scion cultivar, in 1990 the California Pistachio Commission supported the creation of a UC Pistachio Breeding Program, conducted by UC Farm Advisor Joseph Maranto and UC Davis Pomologist Dan Parfitt. This breeding program initially identified a collection of pistachio varieties from throughout California that provided a diverse base of genetic material for developing new varieties. Performance of advanced pistachio selections continues to be evaluated through replicated and randomized field trials, performed by UCCE Farm advisor for Kern County, Craig Kallsen. A number of pistachio cultivars, both male and female, have been developed through the UC Pistachio breeding program and patented by The University of California. These cultivars can be purchased through FPS.

Additionally FPS distributes the rootstock cultivar UCB#1, a hybrid of P. atlantica X P. integerrima, selected by Dr. Lee Ashworth of the UC Berkeley Department of Plant Pathology.

Beginning in the 1960s, UCB#1 seed was produced by P. integerrima pollination of a single P. atlantica tree located at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier, CA. In 1995, the decision was made to shift UCB#1 production and distribution to FPS. UCB#1 hybrid seed as well as budwood and grafted trees for both the male and female parents can be purchased through FPS.