Towards genomic selection in apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) breeding programmes: Prospects, challenges and strategies

S. Kumar, M.C.A.M. Bink, R.K. Volz, V.G.M. Bus, D. Chagne

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81 Citations (Scopus)


The apple genome sequence and the availability of high-throughput genotyping technologies have initiated a new era where SNP markers are abundant across the whole genome. Genomic selection (GS) is a statistical approach that utilizes all available genome-wide markers simultaneously to estimate breeding values or total genetic values. For breeding programmes, GS is a promising alternative to the traditional marker-assisted selection for manipulating complex polygenic traits often controlled by many small-effect genes. Various factors, such as genetic architecture of selection traits, population size and structure, genetic evaluation systems, density of SNP markers and extent of linkage disequilibrium, have been shown to be the key drivers of the accuracy of GS. In this paper, we provide an overview of the status of these aspects in current apple-breeding programmes. Strategies for GS for fruit quality and disease resistance are discussed, and an update on an empirical genomic selection study in a New Zealand apple-breeding programme is provided, along with a foresight of expected accuracy from such selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • marker-assisted selection
  • mildew-resistance gene
  • linear unbiased prediction
  • quantitative trait loci
  • fire blight resistance
  • fruit-quality traits
  • linkage group 3
  • powdery-mildew
  • venturia-inaequalis
  • molecular markers


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