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John A. Barden and Michele E. Marini

A rootstock planting was established with `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' apple (Malus dornestica Borkh.) on nine rootstock near Blacksburg, Va. Five uniformly sized fruit per tree were sampled 1 week before normal harvest and three five-fruit samples were taken at harvest. Rootstock had no consistent effect on the proportion of red surface, which averaged ≈90% Ground color was most yellow for fruit from trees on M.26 EMLA and least yellow from trees on M.27 EMLA, OAR1, and MAC24. Starch was lowest for fruit from trees on MAC9 and (Ottawa) 0.3 and highest from trees on OAR1 and MAC24. Firmness differences were neither large nor consistent and ranged from 71 to 78 N. Soluble solids concentrations (SSC) of fruit were consistently high for fruit from trees on MAC9 and 0.3. A maturity index was calculated from the two harvest samples per year. Data for SSC, starch ratings, and ground color were ranked, and the highest maturity index was for fruit from trees on 0.3, MAC9, and M.26 EMLA.

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Emily E. Hoover, Richard P. Marini, Emily Tepe, Wesley R. Autio, Alan R. Biggs, Jon M. Clements, Robert M. Crassweller, Daniel D. Foster, Melanie J. Foster, Peter M. Hirst, Diane Doud Miller, Michael L. Parker, Gregory M. Peck, Jozsef Racsko, Terence L. Robinson, and Michele R. Warmund

Researchers have collected a considerable amount of data relating to apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars and rootstocks over the past 30 years, but much of this information is not easily accessible. The long-term goal of our working group is to increase access to this information using online technology available through eXtension. In eXtension, researchers and extension personnel are developing a community of practice (CoP) to increase the quality and amount of online information for individuals interested in our work [referred to as a community of interest (CoI)]. For this project, our CoI is broadly defined as commercial apple producers, nursery professionals, county extension educators, Extension Master Gardeners, home gardeners, and consumers. Our CoP is developing diverse educational tools, with the goals of increasing productivity, profitability, and sustainability for commercial apple production. Additionally, we will provide other members of our CoI access to research-based, reliable information on the culture of apples. We chose to begin our focus on cultivars and rootstocks adapted to the eastern United States and will add other U.S. regions as our resources and interest in our project grows.