Marker development and applications in the University of Minnesota apple and grape breeding programs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The University of Minnesota (UMN) fruit breeding programs have participated in several multistate USDA-NIFA-SCRI projects in a nationally coordinated effort to expedite breeding for quality and stress resistance in fruit crops through routine applications of modern genomics and genetics tools. In the UMN apple breeding program, the use of a genotyping array developed through RosBREED enabled map construction for quantitative trait locus (QTL) discovery and haplotype analysis. Here, we present progress toward dissecting pedigree relationships through a high-resolution map that is precursory to identification of key loci for several traits targeted at the apple breeding program, such as texture, apple scab resistance, soft scald, and acidity. Markers are now used routinely in the program to facilitate selection of parents and culling of seedlings for loci controlling fruit color, texture and flavor traits, storage disorders, harvest date, and apple scab resistance. In the UMN grape breeding program, the use of next-generation sequencing technology and centralized phenotyping centers through VitisGen enabled gene mapping for targeted traits, such as powdery mildew, foliar phylloxera, and flower sex. Construction of high-density SNP maps facilitated QTL identification and marker discovery for use in marker-assisted breeding (MAB). Here, we report the identification of loci for powdery mildew resistance and foliar phylloxera resistance. We also report the utility and challenges of MAB, as well as an opportunity to apply AmpSeq, a product of VitisGen, for MAB in grape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication4th International Symposium on Molecular Markers in Horticulture
EditorsV. Bus
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9789462611993
StatePublished - Jun 30 2018

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572
ISSN (Electronic)2406-6168

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are greatly indebted to David Bedford (apple breeder) and John Thull (vineyard manager). We would also like to thank Nicholas Howard and John Tillman for helpful discussions. This work was partially supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Specialty Crop Research Initiative projects “RosBREED: Enabling marker-assisted breeding in Rosaceae” (2009-51181-05808), “RosBREED: Combining disease resistance with horticultural quality in new rosaceous cultivars” (2014-51181-22378), and “VitisGen: Mapping the way to the next generation of grapes” (2011-51181-30635).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 International Society for Horticultural Science. All Rights Reserved.


  • Malus × domestica
  • Marker-assisted breeding
  • QTL
  • SNP
  • Vitis


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