Using Microsatellite Analysis to Verify Breeding Records: A study of `Honeycrisp' and Other Cold-hardy Apple Cultivars

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  • 1 Biology Department, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450
  • 2 Biology Department, St. Olaf College, Northfield MN 55057
  • 3 Department of Horticulture Science, University of Minnesota, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
  • 4 Department of Horticulture Science, Horticultural Research Center, 600 Arboretum Boulevard, Excelsior, MN 55331

We used microsatellite loci to investigate the parentage of the apple cultivar `Honeycrisp', a patented University of Minnesota introduction. In an attempt to find the correct parents, we also examined other apple varieties associated with the University of Minnesota apple breeding program. Based on written records from the 1960s, the presumed parents of `Honeycrisp' were `Honeygold' and `Macoun'. We were able to exclude both of these as parents, but found that `Keepsake' was consistent as one of the parents. A second potential parent could not be discovered. `Haralson', another commercially important cultivar from the University of Minnesota, is likely from a cross between `Malinda' and `Wealthy'.

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