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Flachowsky H.,Julius Kuhn Institute | Le Roux P.-M.,Agroscope Changins Wadenswil ACW Research Station Schloss | Le Roux P.-M.,ETH Zurich | Peil A.,Julius Kuhn Institute | And 3 more authors.
New Phytologist

Breeding of apple (Malus×domestica) remains a slow process because of protracted generation cycles. Shortening the juvenile phase to achieve the introgression of traits from wild species into prebreeding material within a reasonable time frame is a great challenge. • In this study, we evaluated early flowering transgenic apple lines overexpressing the BpMADS4 gene of silver birch with regard to tree morphology in glasshouse conditions. Based on the results obtained, line T1190 was selected for further analysis and application to fast breeding. • The DNA sequences flanking the T-DNA were isolated and the T-DNA integration site was mapped on linkage group 4. The inheritance and correctness of the T-DNA integration were confirmed after meiosis. A crossbred breeding programme was initiated by crossing T1190 with the fire blight-resistant wild species Malus fusca. Transgenic early flowering F 1 seedlings were selected and backcrossed with 'Regia' and 98/6-10 in order to introgress the apple scab Rvi2, Rvi4 and powdery mildew Pl-1, Pl-2 resistance genes and the fire blight resistance quantitative trait locus FB-F7 present in 'Regia'. • Three transgenic BC'1 seedlings pyramiding Rvi2, Rvi4 and FB-F7, as well as three other BC'1 seedlings combining Pl-1 and Pl-2, were identified. Thus, the first transgenic early flowering-based apple breeding programme combined with marker-assisted selection was established. © 2011 New Phytologist Trust. Source

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