Diversity captured in the USDA-ARS national plant germplasm system apple core collection

Briana L. Gross, Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Patrick A. Reeves, Adam D. Henk, Philip L. Forsline, Amy Szewc-McFadden, Gennaro Fazio, C. Thomas Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System Malus collection is maintained by the Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) in Geneva, NY. In the 1990s, a core subset of 258 trees was hand-selected to be representative of the grafted Malus collection. We used a combination of genotypic and phenotypic data to compare the diversity of the 198 diploid trees in the original core subset with that of 2114 diploid trees in the grafted field collection for which data were available. The 198 trees capture 192 of the 232 total microsatellite alleles and have 78 of the 95 phenotypic characters. An addition of 67 specific individuals increases the coverage to 100% of the allelic and phenotypic character states. Several de novo core sets that capture all the allelic and phenotypic character states in 100 individuals are also provided. Use of these proposed sets of individuals will help ensure that a broad range of Malus diversity is included in evaluations that use the core subset of grafted trees in the PGRU collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Clonal crop
  • Malus
  • Simple sequence repeat


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