Research Article

A and MdMYB1 allele-specific markers controlling apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) skin color and suitability for marker-assisted selection

Published: October 31, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (4) : 9103-9114 DOI: 10.4238/2014.October.31.26

Abstract

Pre-selection for fruit skin color at the seedling stage would be highly advantageous, with marker-assisted selection offering a potential method for apple pre-selection. A and MdMYB1 alleles are allele-specific DNA markers that are potentially associated with apple skin color, and co-segregate with the Rf and Rni loci, respectively. Here, we assessed the potential application of these 2 alleles for marker-assisted breeding across 30 diverse cultivars and 2 apple seedling progenies. The red skin color phenotype was usually associated with the MdMYB1-1 allele and A1 allele, respectively, while the 2 molecular markers provided approximately 91% predictability in the 'Fuji' x 'Cripps Pink' and 'Fuji' x 'Gala' progenies. The results obtained from the 30 cultivars and 2 progenies were consistent for the 2 molecular markers. Hence, the results supported that Rf and Rni could be located in a gene cluster, or even correspond to alleles of the same gene. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that red/yellow dimorphism is controlled by a monogenic system, with the presence of the red anthocyanin pigmentation being dominant. In addition, our results supported that the practical utilization of the 2 function markers to efficiently and accurately select red-skinned apple cultivars in apple scion breeding programs.

Pre-selection for fruit skin color at the seedling stage would be highly advantageous, with marker-assisted selection offering a potential method for apple pre-selection. A and MdMYB1 alleles are allele-specific DNA markers that are potentially associated with apple skin color, and co-segregate with the Rf and Rni loci, respectively. Here, we assessed the potential application of these 2 alleles for marker-assisted breeding across 30 diverse cultivars and 2 apple seedling progenies. The red skin color phenotype was usually associated with the MdMYB1-1 allele and A1 allele, respectively, while the 2 molecular markers provided approximately 91% predictability in the 'Fuji' x 'Cripps Pink' and 'Fuji' x 'Gala' progenies. The results obtained from the 30 cultivars and 2 progenies were consistent for the 2 molecular markers. Hence, the results supported that Rf and Rni could be located in a gene cluster, or even correspond to alleles of the same gene. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that red/yellow dimorphism is controlled by a monogenic system, with the presence of the red anthocyanin pigmentation being dominant. In addition, our results supported that the practical utilization of the 2 function markers to efficiently and accurately select red-skinned apple cultivars in apple scion breeding programs.