Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 12:20 | Cite as

Genetic architecture of apple fruit quality traits following storage and implications for genetic improvement

  • Craig M. Hardner
  • Kate Evans
  • Chris Brien
  • Fred Bliss
  • Cameron Peace
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Breeding


Accurate prediction of genetic potential and response to selection in breeding requires knowledge of genetic parameters for important selection traits. Data from breeding trials can be used to obtain estimates of these parameters so that predictions are directly relevant to the improvement program. Here, a factor allocation diagram was developed to describe the sampling design used to assess the quality of fresh and post-storage (2 months) fruit from advanced selection trial in an apple breeding program from which models for analyses were developed. Genetic variation was the largest source of variation for the fruit size, red colour type, proportion of red skin colour and lenticels, and instrumentally assessed fruit diameter, mass, puncture force and titratable acidity. In contrast, residual variation was the largest for fruit shape, juiciness, sweetness, aromatic flavour, eating and overall quality, and instrumental crispness. Genetic effects for traits were generally stable over fixed effects, except for a significant interaction with storage duration for firmness. Genetic correlations among traits were generally weak except between fruit mass (and diameter) and sensory size (0.98), titratable acidity and sensory acidity (0.97), puncture force and sensory firmness (0.96–0.90), crispness and juiciness (0.87), sweetness and aromatic flavour (0.84) and instrumental and sensory crispness (0.75). Predictions of the performance for seven commercial cultivars are presented. This study suggests that the Washington State apple production area can be treated as a single target environment and sufficient diversity exists to generate new elite cultivars. In addition, options for evaluating the efficiency of apple breeding are discussed.


Heritability Repeatability Breeding Genetic correlation Cultivar testing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig M. Hardner
    • 1
  • Kate Evans
    • 2
  • Chris Brien
    • 3
  • Fred Bliss
    • 4
  • Cameron Peace
    • 5
  1. 1.Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food InnovationUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Washington State University (WSU-TFREC)WenatcheeUSA
  3. 3.University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  5. 5.Department of HorticultureWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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