Genome-Wide Association Studies in Apples with Dr. Zoë Migicovsky and Dr. Carsten Pedersen


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“Genome-Wide Association Studies in Apple Reveal Loci for Aroma Volatiles, Sugar Composition, and Harvest Date” with Dr. Zoë Migicovsky, Dr. Carsten Pedersen

Apple breeding can take a long time. Because each seed is the progeny of two different trees and each tree takes five to six years to produce its first fruits, breeders can be waiting years, if not decades, to see the results of their hard work. Drs. Zoë Migicovsky and Carsten Pedersen are working to change that. By comparing the genomes of varying apple cultivars and their phenotypic data (traits you can discern via the five senses), Zoë and Carsten aim to pinpoint which genes are responsible for which traits. With that information, simple DNA testing may be able to shave years off of each round of breeding, helping breeders create better apples for your shelves in far less time.

Listen in to learn:

  • What is a genome wide association study?
  • What is the Pometum?
  • Why is it important to pair both genomic and phenotypic data?
  • How can knowing differing sugar ratios improve apple products, such as ciders or wines?

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here:

This paper is always freely available.

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If you would like to reach out to Zoë, you can find her here: Zoe.Migicovsky@Dal.Ca Twitter: @Zoemig Her lab Twitter: @foodimprover

If you would like to reach out to Carsten, you can find him here:


CEU Quiz:

Dalhousie University site:

Zoe’s personal site:

The Pometum:

The apple key:

Crowd breeding program (in Danish):

Related Papers:

“Genome to Phenome Mapping in Apple Using Historical Data”:

“Using Living Germplasm Collections to Characterize, Improve, and Conserve Woody Perennials”:

“Genome-wide association studies in apple reveal loci of large effect controlling apple polyphenols”:

“Population structure, relatedness and ploidy levels in an apple gene bank revealed through genotyping-by-sequencing”:

Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

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