Fruit genetic resources and their biodiversity
Genetic resources, in our case fruit genetic resources (FGR), are an important treasure of traits valuable for breeding and for long-term sustainable fruit production. In order to develop new fruit cultivars with a wider genetic base, access to and information about a wide range of accessions is important. Changing climatic conditions, new emerging pests and diseases and the need to produce fruit with low or no pesticide input to meet consumer demand are current challenges. Fruit genetic resources are mainly preserved in ex situ tree collections, and kept by different public and private institutions and organisations. In situ conservation is sometimes additionally considered as well as cryopreservation. This diversity in organization, characterization, data management, phytosanitary status and security level as well as the definition of trueness-to-type (synonyms, homonyms) often renders it difficult to get a good overview and access. An example for a coordinated approach through international cooperation is the ECPGR (European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources) network of Bioversity International with its Malus/Pyrus and Prunus working groups. Pomological descriptor sets and molecular characterization already allowed clarifying the situation in some countries and projects. Growing interest in fruit genetic resources is related to modern breeding and selection approaches such as GS (Genomic Selection) and GWAS (Genome Wide Association Studies).
Kellerhals, M., Bühlmann-Schütz, S., Andreoli, R., Schierscher, J. and Oppliger, J. (2021). Fruit genetic resources and their biodiversity. Acta Hortic. 1307, 97-104
fruit, molecular markers, association studies, disease resistance, fire blight, Erwinia amylovora, Venturia inaequalis, Podosphaera leucotricha