Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 14:91 | Cite as

Linkage and association analysis of dihydrochalcones phloridzin, sieboldin, and trilobatin in Malus

  • Benjamin L. GutierrezEmail author
  • Jie Arro
  • Gan-Yuan Zhong
  • Susan K. Brown
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Complex Traits


Dihydrochalcones (DHCs) are a distinctive characteristic of Malus species, with phloridzin as the major DHC in most Malus species, including cultivated apple. DHCs in apple have unique chemical properties with commercial and nutritional value and may yield important insights into the evolution and physiology of apple. A few species produce sieboldin and trilobatin instead of phloridzin, and interspecific hybridization produce offspring with combinations of phloridzin, sieboldin, and trilobatin. Using Malus prunifolia PI 89816 as a common male parent, five F1 populations were developed to understand the genetic basis of these DHCs in Malus. We measured DHC content in each population and observed segregation into five distinct DHC profiles, which fit a model for three independently segregating loci. QTL associated with DHC content were identified on linkage groups 7 and 8 of the Malus genome using linkage analysis with a cross of NY-152 by M. prunifolia PI 589816 and association mapping with a Malus germplasm collection. In addition to DHC segregation, we observed variation in the relative proportions of phloridzin, sieboldin, and trilobatin. The QTL identified represent a critical step in understanding the genetic controllers of DHC content in Malus.


Apple Dihydrochalcone (DHC) Genetic mapping Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) Malus Phloridzin Quantitative trait loci (QTL) 



We thank Kevin Maloney for his assistance in developing the F1 populations. Bill Srmack and Kevin Maloney helped maintain seedlings in the greenhouses and field. Julian Koob helped prepare HPLC samples for analysis. Michael Gore, Lailiang Cheng, and Gennaro Fazio offered suggestions to improve the quality of the research and writing. BG was supported through the USDA-ARS Pathways program. JA is a participant of the ORISE-ORAU Education and Training Program.

Funding information

Funding was provided by the USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, NY.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11295_2018_1304_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (246 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1 Pedigree of five F1 populations, 13,427, 16,705, 16,708, 16,709, and 16,710 (dotted lines). Red boxes denote common pollen parent, M. prunifolia PI 589816. Seed parent listed on left, except at dashed line. (PDF 245 kb)
11295_2018_1304_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (7 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 2 Leaf phloridzin, sieboldin, trilobatin, and total dihydrochalcone content (mg/g) across five F1 populations (PDF 6 kb)
11295_2018_1304_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (5 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 3 Leaf phloridzin and trilobatin content (mg/g) variation by dihydrochalcone profiles P, PT, and SPT across all populations (PDF 5 kb)
11295_2018_1304_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (11 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 4 Scatterplot of leaf phloridzin (x-axis) and trilobatin (y-axis) content in population 13,427. DHC profiles PT (black) and SPT (red) form two distinct groups with different slopes, and correlation of phloridzin and trilobatin increases when determined within each profile separately than combined (PDF 10 kb)
11295_2018_1304_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (694 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 5 Leaf variation between select founders of F1 populations on 2.54 cm2 grids: from top left to bottom right, ‘Evereste’, ‘Red Jade’, PI 589816, and ‘Evereste’ × ‘Red Jade’ parents of 16,708, 16,709, and 16,710 (JPG 694 kb)


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, NYSAESCornell UniversityGenevaUSA
  2. 2.United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research ServicePlant Genetic Resources UnitGenevaUSA

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