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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372545

Research Project: Improving Fruit Crop Traits Through Advanced Genomic, Breeding, and Management Technologies

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: Genetics and genomics of cold hardiness and dormancy in apple

item LIU, JIANYANG - Virginia Tech
item Artlip, Timothy - Tim
item SHERIF, SHERIF - Virginia Tech
item WISNIEWSKI, MICHAEL - Virginia Tech

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2021
Publication Date: 7/15/2021
Citation: Liu, J., Artlip, T.S., Sherif, S.M., Wisniewski, M. 2021. Genetics and genomics of cold hardiness and dormancy in apple. Book Chapter. p. 247-270.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The success of an apple crop depends in no small part on the trees’ ability to undergo dormancy and acclimate to low temperatures during winter. These physiological processes are linked and engage in crosstalk via shared signal transduction pathway components, phytohormones, and the environment. However, these processes are undeniably separate, with some downstream regulons that do not apparently interact with each other. Apple dormancy differs from many other woody perennials in that it is solely temperature dependent, rather than relying on both photoperiod and temperature cues. In addition, apple cultivars can vary tremendously in terms of the duration of dormancy. In turn, dormancy is dependent on the chilling and heating requirements, i.e., hours between 0 °C and 7° C, and hours above 7 °C following chilling, respectively. Both requirements are under genetic control. Several Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) have been identified on Linkage Group 9 from mapping populations arising from low and high chilling varieties, thus underscoring the need to better understand how these requirements are regulated.Similarly, variability of cold hardiness poses an ongoing research challenge. Domesticated apple varieties can differ in terms of low temperature freezing tolerance. Many aspects of cold response are similar between herbaceous and woody perennial plants, with CBF transcription factors the central actors in cold signal transduction. However, some regulators of this pathway have not been found in herbaceous systems and suggest that the CBF system in apple may be differ from more well-known plants such as arabidopsis. Moreover, most low temperature plant research has focus on acute temperature changes and have not addressed how apple maintains its tolerance under chronic conditions. A better understanding of the genetics, genomics, and interactions is thus vital for the sustainability of apple as a crop species, particularly for the economic success of growers and to ensure a stable and secure supply for consumers.