Advances in genetic improvement of hazelnut

S.A. Mehlenbacher
Hazelnut is an economically important tree nut for which demand currently exceeds supply. In response to this economic opportunity, plantings have expanded in many current production areas, and orchards have been established in areas new to hazelnut production. Nearly all world production is based on selections from the local, wild vegetation, and public breeding programs to improve Corylus avellana were not initiated until the 1960s. In the past 25 years, germplasm collections have been enlarged and a substantial body of information on the genetic control of traits generated. Molecular markers have allowed studies of genetic diversity in the genus Corylus, construction of linkage maps, and marker-assisted selection for disease resistance. Genome and transcriptome sequences have been mined for DNA markers, and provide a foundation for the isolation of important genes. New cultivars from Oregon State University with 'Gasaway' resistance to eastern filbert blight (EFB) are being widely planted. Many new sources of EFB resistance and linked DNA markers have been identified, allowing new approaches to breeding for durable resistance. Interspecific hybrids are allowing expansion of plantings to areas with a less suitable climate, including eastern North America and northeastern China. This paper provides a summary of this information and outlines opportunities for future improvements.
Mehlenbacher, S.A. (2018). Advances in genetic improvement of hazelnut. Acta Hortic. 1226, 1-12
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1226.1
Corylus avellana, filbert, breeding, climatic adaptation, disease resistance, genetic diversity, marker-assisted selection

Acta Horticulturae