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GENOME WIDE MAPPING OF FRUIT QUALITY TRAITS IN APPLE

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Title: GENOME WIDE MAPPING OF FRUIT QUALITY TRAITS IN APPLE
Author: Amyotte, Beatrice
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Rajcan, Istvan
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of the genetics of fruit quality in cultivated apple (Malus x domestica). M. x domestica is grown around the world as one of the most popular temperate fruit crop species. Fruit quality is an important trait in apples, and understanding the genetic architecture can accelerate breeding efforts. In recent years, several important quantitative trait loci have been discovered, including genetic regions controlling components of fruit texture, taste and flavour. The objective of this thesis was to identify genetic sources of variation in fruit quality traits with the potential for application in marker assisted apple breeding. This research was necessary to evaluate how previous findings corresponded with variation in genetically distinct apple germplasm, and to determine whether both previously and newly discovered fruit quality loci could be applied to improve the human perception of apple quality. The genetic relationships among 100 diverse apple cultivars were investigated using genotyping by sequencing, and revealed a high level of diversity. Signatures of selection were detected at genomic regions previously found to be associated with fruit quality and adaptation. A genome wide association study of 85 heritage and commercial cultivars detected significant associations with known quantitative trait loci for apple flavour and texture. A novel association for apple texture was detected on chromosome 13. The novel locus could not be validated in two large and diverse apple populations, but remains a strong candidate for use in apple breeding due to its association with the human perception of apple juiciness. The results of this thesis demonstrate the potential for applying marker assisted selection in apple breeding, and for including trained sensory evaluation panels in association studies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/11410
Date: 2017-08-02


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