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Breeding Genomics Laboratory: genotyping apples and grapevines for more sustainability and biodiversity

Zini, E., Letschka, T.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1203 pp. 165-168
Malus domestica, Vitis vinifera, alleles, apples, applied research, biodiversity, cultivars, databases, fruit crops, genetic markers, genomics, genotype, genotyping, grapes, laboratories, marker-assisted selection, parents, pathogens, seedlings, winemaking, Italy
Grape (Vitis vinifera L.) and apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) are the major fruit crops cultivated in South Tyrol, northern Italy. This region is one of the largest European production areas for apple, and has a long and famous tradition in wine making. The Laimburg Research Centre fits into this context, performing basic and applied research aimed at improving knowledge and productive techniques in the various sectors of agriculture. One focus of its research activity is the sustainable production of high-quality crops and safeguarding biodiversity with old local cultivars. In accordance with these objectives, the Breeding Genomics Laboratory provides a well-established marker-assisted selection (MAS) for pathogen resistance traits, allowing for the selection of parents and seedlings with the desired characters and giving evidence of the breeding potential for each genotype, with particular interest in material with pyramided genes to be employed in future resistance breeding activities. Molecular markers are also used to determine S alleles to anticipate cross-incompatibilities between apple cultivars. Moreover, fingerprinting analysis is used in order to determine trueness-to-type of new and unknown accessions, and to characterize autochthonous (mainly rare and old) plants. The aim here is to preserve accessions with specific traits and to use them to optimize breeding design. To support this service, over the past 10 years, a database with more than 1000 entries has been created in apple.