K. Evans
The Washington State University (WSU) breeding program was started in 1994 with the aim of producing new cultivars especially suited to the main production areas of the state. The program has targeted improving quality, particularly texture, as well as good appearance and storability.
The program currently has some 35,000 seedling trees in the phase 1 assessment plots and 60 advanced selections in phase 2 replicated plantings at three different sites. Eight elite selections are being assessed in phase 3 grower trials at four different sites. The first release from the program was ‘WA 2’ in 2009; ‘WA 5’ was released in 2010.
The program is currently implementing DNA-informed breeding. Marker-assisted parent selection has been used for several years and high through-put systems have recently been implemented for seedling selection, however, there are still very few markers that are linked to fruit quality. The WSU apple breeding program is one of the demonstration programs for the USDA SCRI-funded RosBREED project which has ‘implement marker-assisted breeding in core RosBREED breeding programs’ as one of the major targets. Phenotypic and genotypic data are currently being collected within this project with a view to the development of new robust DNA markers linked to socio-economically important fruit quality traits.
Evans, K. (2013). APPLE BREEDING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. Acta Hortic. 976, 75-78
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.976.6
fruit quality, DNA-informed breeding, RosBREED

Acta Horticulturae