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Genetic improvement of top fruit by development and application of molecular markers - HH1029STF

Description
This project aims to integrate marker-assisted selection (MAS) into apple breeding at HRI-East Malling within 3 years. Initially, markers for economically important characteristics will be developed for multiple analysis. Techniques for high throughput marker analysis will be devised. Simultaneously, a genetic map based on microsatellite markers will be developed for the identification of additional markers for use in apple scion and rootstock breeding and possibly, in the future, other top fruit. MAS will be tested in the breeding programme. This work will build on material and techniques developed in MAFF's pome fruit improvement project and allied EU and BBSRC projects. Implementing this technology will allow a complete revision of current screening and selection strategies in apple improvement and provide the opportunity for screening for traits of economic worth by novel means.
Objective
This project aims to integrate marker-assisted selection (MAS) into apple breeding at HRI-East Malling. This will be achieved by:

1. Marker conversion for MAS :
Markers that are currently available (e.g. malic acid, scab & mildew resistance and columnar habit) need to be converted into a PCR-based form suitable for multiplexing for MAS.

2. Identification of new markers:
Markers linked to resistance to diseases and pests are required to enable gene pyramiding to increase durability of resistance. Markers linked more generally applicable economically important traits, particularly fruit quality traits such as texture, will be identified.

3. Development of high throughput technology:
The development of high throughput technology is necessary to enable rapid screening of DNA from large seedling populations (at least 20,000 per year) during Autumn and Winter to ensure the selected seedlings are ready for germination in Spring.

4. Multiplex testing and troubleshooting:
To enable screening for more than one trait at a time (and therefore reducing costs), markers need to be multiplexed. Testing the multiplexed markers in a broad genetic background ensures the system is robust enough to apply to the wide ranging progenies produced in the commercial breeding programme.

5. MAS implementation:
Reduction in seedling numbers allows the development of non-traditional means of speeding up the production of material for propagation.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Genetic improvement of top fruit by development and application of molecular markers   (81k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £748,042
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Keywords
Apples              
Biotechnology              
Breeding              
Farming              
Fruit              
Horticulture              
Quality              
Fields of Study
Horticulture
Horticulture