[Truncatedabstract] The Prunus genus is important because of its high nutritional andculinaryattributes. The fruits belonging to this genus are commonly known asstone fruits or drupes. Thecultivation of stone fruits hasdrivenregional economies. Even though thestone fruits rank third as an economically significant produce, the trade remains principally unconstrained. Deceitful practices by vendors toboost their turnover such as substituting and adulterating high quality fruits with cheaper varieties goes unchecked. Consumers’ rightsare violated as they are cheated by unscrupulous vendors who sell badquality fruits for the price of goodones. Furthermore,the orchardist who developedthe fruit is not rewarded for efforts as royalties are not paid.Hence to avoid commercial exploitation and to protect plant breeders’ rights, it has become vital to authenticate fruit varieties in orderto minimise the incidence of illegalactivity. The traditional techniques used forthe identification of the genus Prunus are based on morphological, physiological andchemical characteristics of the fruits. However, these techniqueshave limitations. For example,multiple names for the same fruit variety canbe assignedand ambiguous inputsin breeding programs have resulted in misinterpretation of descriptiveterms used. Further, physical traits are dependent on environmental factors and thus will vary between different orchards. Consequently, other techniques for complete authentication of the fruits and other plant tissues are required. DNA profiling provides a technique suitable for analysing various fruit varieties, since the DNA within different fruits of the same variety does not change. Commercially sold stone fruit varieties are either of low quality or processed in a way that may lead to degraded DNA in an analytical sample, thus making extraction and amplification difficult.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2010|