Guiding principles in the Geneva® apple rootstock breeding program

Gennaro Fazio [Plant Genetics Resources Unit, USDA-ARS, Geneva, NY, U.S.A.]
Terence Robinson [School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Horticulture Section, Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.]

The Geneva® apple rootstock breeding program has been operating for more than 50 years and through a rigorous breeding and selection process has released several rootstocks that have provided solutions for some of the major rootstock related problems faced by the apple industry worldwide. Research and development for new apple rootstocks encompasses diverse disciplines and research areas including plant physiology, genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, horticulture, and economics. The process of developing the plan for developing new apple rootstocks and related knowledge base is guided by grower-advised principles and distilled into priorities including disease and insect resistance (fire blight, replant disease, wooly apple aphids, viruses, and viroids), productivity, and sustainability (dwarfing, early bearing, yield efficiency, nutrient absorption efficiency, improved fruit size and quality and winter hardiness). The project continues to develop new breeding populations to address these priorities and discover new germplasm sources to increase resilience of the germplasm to future challenges.

DOI: 10.26353/j.itahort/2024.1.2742

Keywords: breeding resilient crops, rootstock induced traits, root traits, rootstock diversity


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Fazio, G. and Robinson, T. (2024) 'Guiding principles in the Geneva® apple rootstock breeding program', Italus Hortus, 31(1), pp. 27-42. doi: 10.26353/j.itahort/2024.1.2742