Business Day: Mapping of apple genome sets scene for new types

Romy Udanga writes in Business Day about the release of the first complete draft sequence of the apple genome – an international project involving scientists from Plant and Food Research.

The sequence not only answers the question of the origin of the apple, but might also help in the cultivation of apples, which are the fourth most economically important fruit crop in the world.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Otago University genetics director Peter Dearden said the genome would allow better directed selective breeding of apples to suit various markets.

“”It will now be possible to find and assay for variation across the whole genome sequence. Using the genome in this way is likely to be the biggest spin-off from the sequence and will benefit apple breeders and consumers for a long time to come,” Professor Dearden said.

“Otago University biochemistry senior lecturer Richard MacKnight said: “Scientists will now be able to more quickly ask, what makes, say, a braeburn apple different from a pacific rose. Then the apple breeders will be able to combine the best genes from both when producing a new variety.”