An Integrated Approach for Increasing Breeding Efficiency in Apple and Peach in Europe

Laurens Francois, Maria José Aranzana, Pere Arus, Daniele Bassi, Marco Bink, Joan Bonany, Andrea Caprera, Luca Corelli-Grappadelli, Evelyne Costes, Charles-Eric Durel, Jehan-Baptiste Mauroux, Hélène Muranty, Nelson Nazzicari, Thierry Pascal, Andrea Patocchi, Andreas Peil, Bénédicte Quilot-Turion, Laura Rossini, Alessandra Stella, Michela Troggio, Riccardo Velasco & Eric van de Weg . 2018. Horticulture Research 5 (2018): 11. PMC. Web. 14 Mar. 2018.


Despite the availability of whole genome sequences of apple and peach, there has been a considerable gap between genomics and breeding. To bridge the gap, the European Union funded the FruitBreedomics project (March 2011 to August 2015) involving 28 research institutes and private companies. Three complementary approaches were pursued: (i) tool and software development, (ii) deciphering genetic control of main horticultural traits taking into account allelic diversity and (iii) developing plant materials, tools and methodologies for breeders. Decisive breakthroughs were made including the making available of ready-to-go DNA diagnostic tests for Marker Assisted Breeding, development of new, dense SNP arrays in apple and peach, new phenotypic methods for some complex traits, software for gene/QTL discovery on breeding germplasm via Pedigree Based Analysis (PBA). This resulted in the discovery of highly predictive molecular markers for traits of horticultural interest via PBA and via Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) on several European genebank collections. FruitBreedomics also developed pre-breeding plant materials in which multiple sources of resistance were pyramided and software that can support breeders in their selection activities. Through FruitBreedomics, significant progresses were made in the field of apple and peach breeding, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics of which advantage will be made by breeders, germplasm curators and scientists. A major part of the data collected during the project has been stored in the FruitBreedomics database and has been made available to the public. This review covers the scientific discoveries made in this major endeavour, and perspective in the apple and peach breeding and genomics in Europe and beyond.

Publiée : 09/04/2018

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