Genome-wide association study unravels the genetic control of the apple volatilome and its interplay with fruit texture

Brian Farneti, Mario Di Guardo, Iuliia Khomenko, Luca Cappellin, Franco Biasioli, Riccardo Velasco, Fabrizio Costa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Fruit quality represents a fundamental factor guiding consumers' preferences. Among apple quality traits, volatile organic compounds and texture features play a major role. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS), coupled with an artificial chewing device, was used to profile the entire apple volatilome of 162 apple accessions, while the fruit texture was dissected with a TAXT-AED texture analyzer. The array of volatile compounds was classed into seven major groups and used in a genome-wide association analysis carried out with 9142 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Marker-trait associations were identified on seven chromosomes co-locating with important candidate genes for aroma, such as MdAAT1 and MdIGS. The integration of volatilome and fruit texture data conducted with a multiple factor analysis unraveled contrasting behavior, underlying opposite regulation of the two fruit quality aspects. The association analysis using the first two principal components identified two QTLs located on chromosomes 10 and 2, respectively. The distinction of the apple accessions on the basis of the allelic configuration of two functional markers, MdPG1 and MdACO1, shed light on the type of interplay existing between fruit texture and the production of volatile organic compounds. c The Author 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1478
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Ester
  • Fruit texture
  • Functional principal component analysis
  • GWAS
  • Multiple factor analysis
  • Phenylpropene
  • PTR-ToF-MS
  • SNP
  • VOCs
  • Volatilome

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