Quantitative genetic analysis and comparison of physical and sensory descriptors relating to fruit flesh firmness in apple (Malus pumila Mill.)
King, GJ, Maliepaard, C, Lynn, JR, Alston, FH, Durel, CE, Evans, KM, Griffon, B, Laurens, F, Manganaris, AG, Schrevens, T, Tartarini, S & Verhaegh, J 2000, 'Quantitative genetic analysis and comparison of physical and sensory descriptors relating to fruit flesh firmness in apple (Malus pumila Mill.)', Theoretical and Applied Genetics, vol. 100, no. 7, pp. 1074-1084.
Texture is a major component of consumer preference for eating-quality in apple. A quantitative genetic analysis of traits associated with fruit-flesh firmness was carried out. This was based on segregation in an unselected mapping population replicated at six sites and harvested over 2 years. Different methods of assessment were compared, and a principal components analysis carried out. Instrumental measures used were Magness-Taylor penetrometer readings, stiffness by acoustic resonance, and a range of sensory descriptors assessed by a trained panel. There were good correlations between some measures, although stiffness was poorly correlated. Whilst genotype by environment effects were large, significant effects were attributable to the genotype, and these were used to detect QTLs. Significant QTLs were detected on seven linkage groups, with large effects on linkage groups L01, L10 and L16. Whilst there was a poor correlation between acoustic stiffness and other measures, the significant and suggestive QTL detected for stiffness on linkage group L10 did represent a subset of significant QTLs detected for the penetrometer measure. The use of sensory assessment proved valuable in detecting QTLs representing different attributes of fruit texture. The possibility of interaction between significant QTLs for fruit texture and other strongly selected traits such as scab resistance and fruit acidity is addressed.