How to Breed Fruit Trees

Have you ever wondered what goes into breeding your favorite fruit varieties? Breeding apples, plums, oranges and pears is made understandable with this video that explains the basic biology, origins, and techniques involved in breeding fruit trees.

This is the latest in my series on how to breed plants. If you are interested to see my other videos, check them out at my graduate program’s YouTube channel. So, now that you’ve seen this, who wants to be an apple breeder?

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Karl is a Ph.D. Candidate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison. In addition to his research on the genetics of sweet corn, he is also completing a minor in science communication and is working on several media projects about plant breeding. His favorite produce might just be squash.


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1 comment to How to Breed Fruit Trees

  • I’d love to breed fruit, preferably ones that get a bit less attention than the standard rose and citrus family fruits, but there’s a few things I wouldn’t mind trying with those if I had the chance, like crossing some of my favorite apple varieties, like Snowsweet and Pink Pearl. I also think it’d be pretty nifty to try, among other things, making interspecies crossings some of the pome fruits, like apple and pear. I doubt you’d get much success, but GRIN supposedly has a Malus x Pyrus hybrid and this paper reports using embryo rescue to do it. GRIN also lists some other hybrids, like quince x pear. They’ve even got a slideshow on it. I’ve got a shipova tree outside, which is a pear x whitebeam hybrid, and apparently they taste pretty good (though are notorious for taking a long time to come into production) so there might be some potential for wide crossings if they can be made. I wonder if somatic hybridization could be used to do it.

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