Breeding New Apple Varieties
Breeding New Apple Varieties. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
Kate Evans with WSU’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center has been searching for possible new apple varieties that will contain the genetic traits right for growing in the northwest.
EVANS: We can look at for example resistance or susceptibility to fire blight. So some of the progenies we are working on - specifically we are trying to increase the level of resistance to fire blight. We’ve got seedlings we’re inoculating them with fire blight.
Tests are not always successful and many times Evans says they end up with a dead tree but she is very positive about finding genetic solutions.
EVANS: Yes we can and we’re starting to do that. The RosBreed project, a USDA funded specialty crops research initiative project is not only enabling us to use some new technologies but it’s helping us to find some new tools to really kind of home in even better at the early stage of the breeding program to find the best genetics.
And she says they have been working at the DNA level at various different points in the breeding program.
EVANS: What it enables us to do initially, which I think is the most exciting thing is to really pull apart the genetic control of some of the important traits in parental varieties and what that does is it helps us to make much better decisions about which combinations of parents we can combine to find the right individuals with the right genetics for our growing conditions.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.