The European apple genome mapping project-developing a strategy for mapping genes-coding for agronomic characters in tree species

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King, GJ, Alston, FH, Battle, I, Chevreau, E, Gessler, C, Janse, J, Lindhout, P, Manganaris, AG, Sansavini, S, Schmidt, H & Tobutt, K 1991, 'The European apple genome mapping project- developing a strategy for mapping genes coding for agronomic characters in tree species', Euphytica, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 89-94.

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A recently initiated collaborative project involving apple breeders in seven European countries is described. The objective is to improve the European apple crop by molecular-aided breeding to increase efficency and reduce the time-scale in breeding for resistance, tree habit and fruit quality. The strategy adopted provides a model for similar studies in fruit, forest and other woody species. The project is based on progenies from a small number of crosses involving many important agronomic genes. Replication of these reference progenies by vegetative propagation will enable studies to be carried out simultaneously in each country. By developing a range of molecular markers, including isozymes, RFLPs and sequence-tagged DNA probes, an integrated molecular map is being constructed for use in a wide range of breeding and genetic studies. Construction of a database recording many mapped molecular markers will enable efficient exploitation of data in future genetic, breeding and physiological studies of apple. Aspects of the adopted strategy, techniques and management are discussed in the context of mapping genes in perennial crop genomes.

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