APPLE (Malus domestica L.)

The program of breeding new apple cultivars at the Fruit Research Institute, Čačak started in 1947 by collecting cultivars and establishing experimental plantings for the purpose of studying and creating collection of parental combinations. The first planned hybridization was conducted in 1959 which was followed by somatic mutations which were induced ten years later. At first, the objectives of apple breeding referred primarily to the improvement of fruit quality, whereas to date, besides fruit quality, they have been widened to fruit shelf life and building up resistance to causal agents of pests and diseases. Since 1980 a special attention has been devoted to developing apple cultivars resistant to pests and diseases. Eighteen promising hybrids, which exhibit resistance to the causal agent of apple scab (Venturia inaequalis (Cooke) Wint.).

The work on breeding new apple cultivars is a long-term activity often with doubtful outcome due to the fact that apple is perennial, heterozygous and polyploid fruit species with long juvenile period and requires external pollinators. Methods of advancement of apple breeding are still conducted through selection from natural populations, hybridization and mutational breeding. However, with the aim of more rapid development of superior apple genotypes within the program of conventional breeding, during the past few years the approach has been greatly changed by introduction of modern methods of breeding (marker-assisting breeding) that provide selection of parental combinations as well as early discovery and elimination of seedlings with undesired properties.

Up to now, 2 apple cultivars have been released:

  1. Čačanska pozna
  2. Čadel