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Review Article|01 Nov 2020|OPEN
RosBREED: bridging the chasm between discovery and application to enable DNA-informed breeding in rosaceous crops
Amy F. Iezzoni1, Jim McFerson2, James Luby3, Ksenija Gasic4, Vance Whitaker5, Nahla Bassil6, Chengyan Yue3, Karina Gallardo7, Vicki McCracken8, Michael Coe9, Craig Hardner10, Jason D. Zurn6, Stan Hokanson3, Eric van de Weg11, Sook Jung8, Dorrie Main8, Cassia da Silva Linge4, Stijn Vanderzande8, Thomas M. Davis12, Lise L. Mahoney12, Chad Finn6 & Cameron Peace8
1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA 98801, USA
3University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
4Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
5University of Florida, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA
6USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
7Washington State University, Puyallup, WA 98371, USA
8Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
9Cedar Lake Research Group, Portland, OR 97215, USA
10University Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
11Wageningen University and Research, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
12University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 177 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.177
Views: 249

Received: 28 Jun 2020
Revised: 16 Jul 2020
Accepted: 30 Aug 2020
Published online: 01 Nov 2020


The Rosaceae crop family (including almond, apple, apricot, blackberry, peach, pear, plum, raspberry, rose, strawberry, sweet cherry, and sour cherry) provides vital contributions to human well-being and is economically significant across the U.S. In 2003, industry stakeholder initiatives prioritized the utilization of genomics, genetics, and breeding to develop new cultivars exhibiting both disease resistance and superior horticultural quality. However, rosaceous crop breeders lacked certain knowledge and tools to fully implement DNA-informed breeding—a “chasm” existed between existing genomics and genetic information and the application of this knowledge in breeding. The RosBREED project (“Ros” signifying a Rosaceae genomics, genetics, and breeding community initiative, and “BREED”, indicating the core focus on breeding programs), addressed this challenge through a comprehensive and coordinated 10-year effort funded by the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative. RosBREED was designed to enable the routine application of modern genomics and genetics technologies in U.S. rosaceous crop breeding programs, thereby enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering cultivars with producer-required disease resistances and market-essential horticultural quality. This review presents a synopsis of the approach, deliverables, and impacts of RosBREED, highlighting synergistic global collaborations and future needs. Enabling technologies and tools developed are described, including genome-wide scanning platforms and DNA diagnostic tests. Examples of DNA-informed breeding use by project participants are presented for all breeding stages, including pre-breeding for disease resistance, parental and seedling selection, and elite selection advancement. The chasm is now bridged, accelerating rosaceous crop genetic improvement.