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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) » Research » Research Project #424948

Research Project: Breeding Apple Rootstocks Tolerant to Abiotic Stresses and Resistant to Pests and Diseases

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU)

Project Number: 8060-21000-026-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 28, 2013
End Date: Mar 28, 2018

1: Develop and release improved apple rootstocks. 1.A. Perform all breeding and evaluation stages involved in the 15-25 year process of developing new rootstocks with the assistance of recently developed breeding tools, such as marker-assisted selection. 1.B. Develop improved propagation methods that speed the distribution of selected material to customers through established networks of cooperating nurseries. 1.C. Incorporate innovative concepts of orchard establishment and management including mechanization. 2: Develop and apply genomic and bioinformatic tools to marker-assisted selection of apple rootstocks. 2.A. Identify and characterize new gene pools with novel alleles for standard rootstock traits, as well as alleles for innovative traits, such as improved compatibility with mechanized orchard management and branch angle modification. 2.B. Develop algorithms to assist with identifying specific markers for priority horticultural traits from the large body of expressed sequence tags (EST) and genomic sequence data now available.

The objectives of this project will be met by a)developing superior apple rootstocks, applying advances in marker-assisted breeding for important traits such as dwarfing, precocity, wooly apple aphid resistance, and tree architecture, and b)devising and applying genomic and bioinformatic tools for marker-assisted breeding of apple rootstocks including identification of the genes underlying resistance to the replant disease complex and to nutrient uptake efficiency.