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Article|19 Sep 2023|OPEN
Genome-wide association mapping in a sweet cherry germplasm collection (Prunus avium L.) reveals candidate genes for fruit quality traits
Armel S.L. Donkpegan1,2,3 , , Anthony Bernard1,3 , , Teresa Barreneche1 , José Quero-García1 , Hélène Bonnet1 and Mathieu Fouché1 , Loïck Le Dantec1 , Bénédicte Wenden1 , Elisabeth Dirlewanger,1
1UMR BFP, INRAE, University of Bordeaux, 71 Avenue Edouard Bourlaux, F-33882 Villenave d’Ornon, France
2UMR BOA, SYSAAF, Centre INRAE Val de Loire, 37380 Nouzilly, France
3Co-first authors
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad191 (2023)
Views: 62

Received: 21 Jun 2023
Accepted: 12 Sep 2023
Published online: 19 Sep 2023


In sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), large variability exists for various traits related to fruit quality. There is a need to discover the genetic architecture of these traits in order to enhance the efficiency of breeding strategies for consumer and producer demands. With this objective, a germplasm collection consisting of 116 sweet cherry accessions was evaluated for 23 agronomic fruit quality traits over 2–6 years, and characterized using a genotyping-by-sequencing approach. The SNP coverage collected was used to conduct a genome-wide association study using two multilocus models and three reference genomes. We identified numerous SNP–trait associations for global fruit size (weight, width, and thickness), fruit cracking, fruit firmness, and stone size, and we pinpointed several candidate genes involved in phytohormone, calcium, and cell wall metabolisms. Finally, we conducted a precise literature review focusing on the genetic architecture of fruit quality traits in sweet cherry to compare our results with potential colocalizations of marker–trait associations. This study brings new knowledge of the genetic control of important agronomic traits related to fruit quality, and to the development of marker-assisted selection strategies targeted towards the facilitation of breeding efforts.