T.B. Toldam-Andersen, M. Korsgaard, J. Nordling
Cultivar descriptions and correct identification are central for the work with genetic material, especially in Genebanks. The data collection of many descriptive parameters is very laborious in itself, but the handling of the data is also a challenge. However, when it comes to the level of use and communicating the information to breeders, researchers and especially the public the challenge appears to be almost impossible. If one visits a range of genebank homepages around the world it is very difficult to extract the information even for specialists. At The Pometum a collection of around 800 cultivars of apples from 22 countries is maintained. Most are historic local cultivars from Denmark and the neighboring countries. We experience large public interest in information about the collection. To communicate the information collected over the years we initiated a visually simplified internet platform. A dual aim was; firstly to present the diversity of apples in terms of appearance and qualities and also allow the inclusion of unique historical and cultural information including photos, pomological drawings and paintings. Secondly, the aim was to develop a tool for identification of cultivars and easy possibilities for targeted search for cultivars with specific characteristics. In September 2009 the ‘Apple Key’ was published on the internet,, which includes 319 apple cultivars. The user interface and all data are available in both Danish and English. 37 different groups of descriptive parameters are used with a major emphasis on external and internal characters of the fruit. 15 parameters are used to describe the external appearance such as color, shape, calyx end and stalk while 7 internal parameters are focused on structures like tube and eye structures and stamen position developed by Robert Hogg in 1880s. Other parameters focus on quality for use (table fruit, cooking, juice), flowering characteristics and tree growth and health (disease sensitivity). The development and use of the Apple Key is demonstrated and the stability of different characters in cultivar identification is discussed.
Toldam-Andersen, T.B., Korsgaard, M. and Nordling, J. (2011). THE POMETUM APPLE KEY - AN INTERNET TOOL FOR GENEBANK DATA INCLUDING CULTIVAR IDENTIFICATION. Acta Hortic. 918, 81-84
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.918.8
pomology, phenotype, stability of phenotypic descriptors

Acta Horticulturae