Applications of SNP-based apple pedigree identification to regionally specific germplasm collections and breeding programs

N. P. Howard, J. J. Luby, E. van de Weg, C. E. Durel, C. Denancé, H. Muranty, B. Larsen, M. Troggio, M. Ristel, D. C. Albach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A wealth of previously unknown pedigree information has been generated for apple (Malus × domestica) through recent studies and an ongoing pedigree identification project using SNP array data. This information has been postulated to be useful in a number of ways for germplasm collections and breeding programs. For example, pedigree information is an important part of genetic characterization of material in germplasm collections. Germplasm collections often seek to preserve cultivars that currently lack commercial relevance but have regional or historical significance or are phenotypically interesting. Pedigree information is often limited on such material. With pedigree information, an accurate genetic structure of these collections can be conveyed to breeders who wish to incorporate novel germplasm into new cultivars. To illustrate ways in which this newly generated pedigree information can be used, we provide examples involving accessions from the germplasm collection Ökowerk and the breeding association “apfel:gut e.V.”, which focus in the development of apples for regional organic production. Both organizations are located in northern Germany. Despite focusing on regional apple cultivars and genetic diversity, many of their accessions and breeding lines are common, cosmopolitan, and foundational cultivars. However, the SNP-based analyses also reveal regionally specific founders, not true-to-type accessions, and genetically unique historical cultivars. This new information has benefitted these organizations by providing genetic characterization that was previously lacking, enabling them to better utilize these genetic resources. Additionally, this information will also be useful in the context of an ongoing larger scale apple pedigree reconstruction project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur through the EGON project: “Research for a sustainable agricultural production: Development of organically bred fruit cultivars in creative commons initiatives.” Some data and resources come from the RosBREED project: “Combining disease resistance with horticultural quality in new rosaceous cultivars”. Funding provided by the Specialty Crop Research Initiative Competitive Grant ? ? -5? 11? 81-? ? ? ? ? of th’se NUaStDioAnal Institute of Food and Agriculture. Some data and software development comes from the EU seventh Framework Programme funded project FruitBreedomics: “Bridging the gap between genomics and fruit breeding” (Project ID 匃? ? ? ? ? ?).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Germplasm
  • Malus × domestica
  • Pedigree
  • SNP array


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