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?

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He currently works as a public research geneticist in Madison, WI. His favorite produce might just be squash.

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One comment on “How to Breed Fruit Trees
  1. GregH says:

    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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