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Article|26 Oct 2022|OPEN
Molecular characterization of intergeneric hybrids between Malus and Pyrus
Giulia Pasqualetto1,2,3 , Luisa Palmieri1 , Stefan Martens1 , Vincent G.M. Bus3 , David Chagné4 and Claudia Wiedow4 , Mickael A. Malnoy1 , Susan E. Gardiner,4 ,
1Research and Innovation Centre, Edmund Mach Foundation, San Michele all’Adige, TN 38010, Italy
2Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, UD 33100, Italy
3The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd (PFR), Hawke’s Bay Research Centre, Havelock North 4442, New Zealand
4PFR, Fitzherbert Science Centre, Palmerston North, New Zealand
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac239 (2023)
Views: 261

Received: 10 Jul 2022
Accepted: 17 Oct 2022
Published online: 26 Oct 2022


Apple (Malus) and pear (Pyrus) are economically important fruit crops well known for their unique textures, flavours, and nutritional qualities. Both genera are characterised by a distinct pattern of secondary metabolites, which directly affect not only resistance to certain diseases, but also have significant impacts on the flavour and nutritional value of the fruit. The identical chromosome numbers, similar genome size, and their recent divergence date, together with DNA markers have shown that apple and pear genomes are highly co-linear. This study utilized comparative genomic approaches, including simple sequence repeats, high resolution single nucleotide polymorphism melting analysis, and single nucleotide polymorphism chip analysis to identify genetic differences among hybrids of Malus and Pyrus, and F2 offspring. This research has demonstrated and validated that these three marker types, along with metabolomics analysis are very powerful tools to detect and confirm hybridity of progeny derived from crosses between apple and pear in both cross directions. Furthermore, this work analysed the genus-specific metabolite patterns and the resistance to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) in progeny. The findings of this work will enhance and accelerate the breeding of novel tree fruit crops that benefit producers and consumers, by enabling marker assisted selection of desired traits introgressed between pear and apple.