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Conference paper2023Peer reviewed

Characterization of autumn senescence in the Swedish Central Collection of heritage apple cultivars

Sätra, J.S.a.; Hjalmarsson, I.; Ingvarsson, P.K.; Garkava-Gustavsson, L.


Starting in the late 1970s, the use of modern apple cultivars prompted an inventory and collection of old apple cultivars grown in Sweden. This initially led to the establishment of a series of local clonal archives, and later to the establishment of the Swedish Central collection between 2012 and 2016. The collection contains considerable phenotypic variation for traits that could be relevant to future breeding goals of Sweden’s national breeding program, such as climatic adaptation. Recommendations for cultivations of horticultural perennials are based on the classification of Sweden into 9 climatic zones, including the alpine region. The Swedish Central Collection has apple cultivars recommended for cultivation up to zone 6, stretching up to latitude 65 along the coastal regions. Currently, most of the production of dessert apples in Sweden is concentrated around latitude 55, though there are commercial orchards further north. Recently, commercial orchards aiming at cider production have been established as far north as latitude 63. Thus, Swedish commercial apple production is placed at the northern frontier, with special requirements for climatic adaptation. Currently, little is known about which key characters are underlying climatic adaptation but phenological properties are generally important for the adaptation of trees to northern climates. While certain phenological traits such as spring bud break and the onset of flowering have been relatively well studied in apple, autumn phenological traits such as senescence have received relatively little attention. Thus, we have assessed the Swedish Central Collection of apple heritage cultivars for autumn senescence over three years (2019-2021). The timing of onset of senescence and rate of senescence were analysed for year-to-year variation and the impact of temperature, and compared with historical data on hardiness and putative NAC18.1, Md-ACS1 and Md-ACO1 genotypes.


climatic adaptation; genetic resources; hardiness; Malus domestica; phenology

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2023, Volume: 1384, pages: 257-265 Title: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Horticultural Genetic Resources : Angers, France, August 14-20, 2022
ISBN: 978-94-62613-83-6
Publisher: International Society for Horticultural Science


XXXI International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022): International Symposium on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Horticultural Genetic Resources, Angers, France, August 14-20, 2022