Dan Parfitt

image of Dan Parfitt



Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Offices and Labs

2025 Wickson Hall

Profile Introduction

Plant Breeding and Plant Germplasm Research - emphasis on pistachio and other tree crops.


1979 PhD University of Wisconsin, Madison
1977 MS University of Wisconsin, Madison
1973 BS University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Contribution

In 1989, I initiated a varietal breeding program to produce improved cultivars of pistachio (a major California tree nut crop). This activity resulted in the development of a considerable body of quantitative genetics information as well as the generation of advanced selection lines for cultivar release and the release of three new cultivars in 2006-7 which are being widely planted by the industry. With my colleague, C. Kallsen, we are in the process of patenting 3 additional pistachio cultivars to extend the harvest season. My work on pistachio propagation resulted in the development of micro-propagation protocols adapted by private nurseries to propagate pistachio rootstocks. During the last few years I have used PCR and RFLP technologies to elucidate the taxonomic relationships of species within Pistacia, Juglans, Prunus, and Diospyros. During the last 5-10 years, I have also conducted grant funded studies with Co-PIs to develop a biocontrol yeast for pistachio, investigate the bio-diesel potential of Jatropha curcas, sequence three peach genomes, develop high density SNP maps from two peach progenies, and identify peach resistance genes at the genome level. Selected publications are provided below.

Research Interests

Plant breeding, plant genetics, plant germplasm conservation and related issues. Recent activities include pistachio breeding, peach genome analysis, and new crops and technologies.

Department and Center Affiliations

Plant Sciences Department


American Society for Hort.icultural Science

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Integrative Genetics and Genomics

Specialties / Focus

Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Breeding

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Horticulture-Agronomy Graduate Group


10/23/2017 1:09:51 PM
  • Kallsen, C.E. and D.E. Parfitt. ‘Gumdrop’ , a new early harvest pistachio cultivar. 2017. HortSci

  • Parfitt, Dan E., Keizo Yonemori, Chitose Honsho, Mitsunori Nozaka, Shinya Kanzaki, Akihiko
    Sato, Masahiko Yamada. Relationships among Asian persimmon cultivars, astringent and
    non-astringent types. 2015. Tree Genetics Genomes 11(2): 24 (9 pages)

  • Fresnedo-Ramírez, Jonathan , Pedro J. Martínez-García, Dan E. Parfitt, Carlos H. Crisosto,
    Thomas M. Gradziel. Heterogeneity in the entire genome for three genotypes of Peach [Prunus
    persica (L.) Batsch] as distinguished from sequence analysis of genomic variants. 2013. BMC
    Genomics 14:750 16p. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-14-750

  • Martínez-García, Pedro J. , Jonathan Fresnedo-Ramírez, Dan E. Parfitt,, Richard
    Bostock,Thomas M. Gradziel, Carlos H. Crisosto. Application of Genomic and Quantitative
    Genetic Tools to Identify Candidate Resistance Genes for Brown Rot Resistance in Peach. 2013.
    PlosOne 8(11):e78634 12p. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078634

  • Martínez-García, P.J. D.E. Parfitt, E.A. Ogundiwin, J. Fass, H.M. Chan, R. Ahmad, S. Lurie, A. Dandekar,T.M. Gradziel, and C. H. Crisosto. 2012. High Density SNP Mapping and QTL analysis for fruit quality characteristics on peach (Prunus persica L.) Tree Genetics and Genomes. 9:19-36 DOI 10.1007/s11295-012-0522-7
  • Parfitt, D. E., S. Kafkas, I. Batlle, F.J. Vargas, and C.E. Kallsen. 2012. Pistachio, pp. 803-826. In M.L. Badenes and D.H. Byrne, eds., Fruit Breeding. Springer, New York. 875 p.
  • Ahmad, R., Parfitt, D.E., Fass, J., Ogundiwin, E., Dhingra, A., Gradziel, T.M., Lin, D. Joshi, N.A., Martinez-Garcia, P.J. and Crisosto, C. 2011. Whole genome sequencing of peach (Prunus persica L.) for SNP identification and selection. BMC Genomics 12:509. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-12-569
  • Ahmad, R., Parfitt, D.E., Fass, J., Ogundiwin, E., Dhingra, A., Gradziel, T.M., Lin, D. Joshi, N.A., Martinez-Garcia, P.J. and Crisosto, C. 2011. Whole genome sequencing of peach (Prunus persica L.) for SNP identification and selection. BMC Genomics 12:509. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-12-569
  • Ogundiwin, E.A., C.P. Peace, T.M. Gradziel, D.E. Parfitt, F.A. Bliss, and C.H. Crisosto. 2009. A fruit quality gene map of Prunus. BMC Genomics 10:587 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-587
  • Chao, C.T., D.E. Parfitt, L. Ferguson, C. Kallsen, and J. Maranto. 2003. Genetic analysis of phenological traits of pistachio. 2003. Euphytica. 129(3):345-349.
  • Aradhya, M.K., H.M. Chan, and D.E. Parfitt. 2001. Genetic variability in the pistachio late blight fungus, Alternaria alternata. Mycological Research 105(3):300-306.
  • Bortiri E., S. Oh, J. Jiang, S. Baggett, A. Granger, C. Weeks, M. Buckingham, D. Potter, and D. Parfitt. 2001. Phylogeny and systematics of the genus Prunus L. (Rosaceae) as determined by sequence analysis of ITS and the chloroplast trnL-trnF spacer DNA. Syst. Bot. 26(4):797-807.
  • Sanz-Cortés, F., D.E. Parfitt, D. Struss, G. Llácer and M.L. Badenes. 2003. Intraspecific olive diversity assessed with AFLP. Plant Breeding. 122(2):173-177.
  • Parfitt, D.E., N. Arjmand, and T.J. Michailides. 2003. Resistance to Botryosphaeria dothidea in Pistachio. HortScience 38(4):529-531.
  • Tingshuang Yi, Jun Wen, Avi Golan-Goldhirsh, Dan E. Parfitt. 2008. Phylogenetics and reticulate evolution in Pistacia (Anacardiaceae). American J. of Botany. 95(2): 241-251.
  • Yonemori K, Kanzaki S, Parfitt DE, Utsunomiya N, Subhadrabandhu S, and Sugiura A. 1998. Phylogenetic relationship of Diospyros kaki (persimmon) to Diospyros spp. (Ebenaceae) of Thailand and four temperate zone Diospyros spp. from an analysis of RFLP variation in amplified cpDNA 1998. Genome 41:173-182
  • Parfitt DE and ML Badenes . 1997. Phylogeny of the genus Pistacia as determined from analysis of the chloroplast genome.. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA. 94:7987-7992
  • Fjellstrom RG and DE Parfitt. 1994. Walnut (Juglans spp) diversity determined by restriction fragment length polymorphisms.. Genome. 37:690-700