Identification of "duplicate" accessions within the USDA-ARS National plant Germplasm system Malus collection

Briana L. Gross, Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Philip L. Forsline, Gennaro Fazio, C. Thomas Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), Plant Genetic Resources Unit apple (Malus) collection in Geneva, NY, conserves over 2500 trees as grafted clones. We have compared the genotypes of 1131 diploid Malus × domestica cultivars with a total of 1910 wild and domesticated samples representing 41 taxonomic designations in the NPGS collection to identify those that are genetically identical based on nine simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci. We calculated the probability of identity for samples in the data set based on allelic diversity and, where possible, use fruit images to qualitatively confirm similarities. A total of 237 alleles were amplified and the nine SSRs were deemed adequate to assess duplication within the collection with the caveat that "sport families" likely would not be differentiated. A total of 238 M. × domestica and 10 samples of other taxonomic groups shared a genotype with at least one other M. × domestica individual. In several cases, genotypes for cultivars matched genotypes of known rootstocks and indicated that these accessions may not accurately represent the indicated named clones. Sets of individuals with identical genotypes and similar cultivar names were assigned to sport families. These 23 sport families, comprised of 104 individuals, may have mutational differences that were not identified using the nine SSR loci. Five of the selected markers (CH01h01, CH02d08, CH01f02, G12, GD147) overlap with sets of markers that have been used to fingerprint European apple collections, thus making it possible to compare and coordinate collection inventories on a worldwide scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Apple
  • Clonal crop
  • Malus ×domestica
  • Perennial crop
  • Probability of identity
  • Simple sequence repeat

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