Elucidation and characterization of QTLs for Russet formation on apple fruit in ‘Honeycrisp’-derived breeding germplasm

Ashley A. Powell, Sarah A Kostick, Nicholas P Howard, James J. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Russet formation in apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) is a superficial skin disorder that detracts from fruit appearance and therefore is a breeding target in many apple scion breeding programs. Previous studies have reported quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for russet formation, but these results have been limited to a narrow genetic background, which reduces breeding utility. In this study, 14 breeding parents were represented in 13-full sib families, nine of which were ‘Honeycrisp’-derived while the other four were derived from ‘Minneiska’, an offspring of ‘Honeycrisp.’ Two previously reported QTLs, on linkage group (LG) 2 and LG6, were confirmed and characterized for the first time in ‘Honeycrisp’-derived germplasm. Five other putative QTLs were also detected. The QTLs characterized in this study could be targeted for DNA test development to be used in marker-assisted selection. Non-additive interactions were observed at and between the LG2 and LG6 QTLs. Future work should include validation of QTL and haplotype effects in other germplasm, development of trait-predictive DNA tests for use in apple breeding programs, and exploration of genome-wide prediction models for russet formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Minnesota State Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota Projects MIN-21–040 and MIN-21–097, and by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Initiative Projects 2009–51181-05808 and 2014–51181-22378.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • DNA-informed breeding
  • FlexQTL™
  • Haplotype analysis
  • Malus domestica
  • Pedigree-based analysis


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