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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Plant Genetic Resources Research

Title: The history of apple breeding in People’s Republic Of China

item Gao, Hua
item Dang, Zhiguo
item Li, Dan
item Mei, Lixin
item Wan, Yizhen
item Wang, Leicun
item Zhao, Zhengyang
item Fazio, Gennaro

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: China is the leading apple production country in the world. Its apple area and production in 2006 was 1,898,000 hectares and 26,000,000 tons, accounting for more than 35% of the global apple area and production, respectively. New cultivars are very important to development of the apple industry. China has a history of more than 50 years in apple breeding. Over 260 apple breeders from 40 universities or institutes all over the country, including the provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Shaanxi, Shandong and Shanxi, devoted themselves to the apple breeding career. China released 270 apple varieties in the past 50 years by crossing and using ‘Fuji’, ‘Ralls’, ‘Delicious’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Jonathan’, and ‘Toko’ as the parents in the crosses. Among them, two varieties of ‘Qinguan’ and ‘Yanfeng’ bred in Shaanxi, two varieties of ‘Huaguan’ and ‘Huashuai’ in Henan, five varieties of ‘Liaofu’, ‘Yueshuai’, ‘Hanfu’, ‘Qiujin’, and ‘Huahong’ in Liaoning, two varieties of ‘Guohong’ and ‘Yanshanhong’ in Hebei, ‘Danxia’in Shanxi, and ‘Dailv’in Shandong exhibited comprehensively high qualities and had a certain large extension area in the history of China apple industry. Now China has also initiated program for breeding red flesh apples and juice apples with high acidic contents. Traditional crossing, sports selection, and open-pollinated seedlings selection combined with marker-assisted selection, anther culture, transgenic engineering, were the approaches used for breeding new apple varieties. Research on inheritance of important traits in apples, pre-selection and early evaluation for the seedlings, methods to shorten the juvenility in apples, resistance to apple canker and apple ring rot, transgenic engineering in apples was also conducted in the apple breeding program. China began apple rootstock breeding program thirty years ago. Traits of dwarfing, high disease resistance, drought endurance, and cold hardiness, are the primary consideration in the apple rootstock breeding program. China has released a handful of apple rootstocks as ‘S19’, ‘S20’, ‘SH15’, ‘63-2-19’, ‘77-34’, ‘Liaozhen No. 2’, ‘GM2 56’, ‘CX3’, ‘75-9-5’, and ‘75-7-1’. A National Apple Breeding Association in China will lead to coordination among breeding groups across the country and to development of the apple industry in China.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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