Breeding of resistant apple cultivars (Malus × domestica) as a disease management strategy relies on the knowledge and understanding of the underlying genetics. The availability of molecular markers and genetic linkage maps enables the detection and the analysis of major resistance genes as well as of quantitative trait loci (QTL) contributing to the resistance of a genotype. Such a genetic linkage map was constructed, based on a segregating population of the cross between apple cvs. Fiesta (syn. Red Pippin) and Discovery. The progeny was observed for 3 years at three different sites in Switzerland and field resistance against apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) was assessed. Only a weak correlation was detected between leaf scab and fruit scab. A QTL analysis was performed, based on the genetic linkage map consisting of 804 molecular markers and covering all 17 chromosomes of apple. With the maximum likelihood-based interval mapping method, eight genomic regions were identified, six conferring resistance against leaf scab and two conferring fruit scab resistance. Although cv. Discovery showed a much stronger resistance against scab in the field, most QTL identified were attributed to the more susceptible parent ‘Fiesta’. This indicated a high degree of homozygosity at the scab resistance loci in ‘Discovery’, preventing their detection in the progeny due to the lack of segregation.
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