Genetic and physical characterisation of the locus controlling columnar habit in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.)

Paolo Baldi*, Pieter Jacobus Wolters, Matteo Komjanc, Roberto Viola, Riccardo Velasco, Silvio Salvi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


A better understanding of the genetic control of tree architecture would potentially allow improved tailoring of newly bred apple cultivars in terms of field management aspects, such as planting density, pruning, pest control and disease protection. It would also have an indirect impact on yield and fruit quality. The Columnar (Co) locus strongly suppresses lateral branch elongation and is the most important genetic locus influencing tree architecture in apple. Co has previously been mapped on apple linkage group (LG) 10. In order to obtain fine mapping of Co, both genetically and physically, we have phenotypically analysed and screened three adult segregating experimental populations, with a total of 301 F1 plants, and one substantial 3-year old population of 1,250 F1 plants with newly developed simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, based on the 'Golden delicious' apple genome sequence now available. Co was found to co-segregate with SSR marker Co04R12 and was confined in a region of 0. 56 cM between SSR markers Co04R11 and Co04R13, corresponding to 393 kb on the 'Golden delicious' genome sequence. In this region, 36 genes were predicted, including at least seven sequences potentially belonging to genes that could be considered candidates for involvement in control of shoot development. Our results provide highly reliable, virtually co-segregating markers that will facilitate apple breeding aimed at modifications of the tree habit and lay the foundations for the cloning of Co.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-440
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Co locus
  • Fine mapping
  • Growth habit
  • Tree architecture

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic and physical characterisation of the locus controlling columnar habit in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this