Origin of the Domesticated Apples

Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Genomic, genetic, and archaeobotanical findings have confirmed that alongside interspecific hybridizations between Malus sieversii from Central Asia and wild species along the Silk Road, segmental duplications, point mutations, and clonal propagation have led to the fixation of traits in cultivated apples, unlike in annual crops. Moreover, there is minimal evidence for long-term intentional and targeted selection for fruit quality and horticultural traits; whereas, self-incompatibility, long juvenile phase, and clonal propagation have maintained genetic diversity in apples. Only modern (commercial) apple cultivars hint at the reduction of diversity and selection for commercially important traits. Furthermore, the wide phenotypic variations present in pre-breeding and advanced breeding material reveal that a great deal of genetic diversity is still maintained in the cultivated gene pool.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology SectionCornell UniversityGenevaUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, New York State Agricultural Experiment StationGenevaUSA

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