Summer 2017

Honeycrisp's heritage


“The Honeycrisp’s original pedigree record was found to be incorrect in 2004. Its recorded parents just didn’t behave like Honeycrisp. I was studying correlations between genetics and traits of interest in apples, especially disorders like scald and soggy breakdown, and I was using pedigree information and genetic markers to see where the traits came from. Through genetic analysis, I found that one of Honeycrisp’s parents was Keepsake. And then I found four or five of its siblings. Three of them had complete pedigree records. The other parent turned out to be MN1627, which we know is a cross between Golden Delicious and Duchess of Oldenberg, an old Russian variety. These are well-known cultivars used worldwide. When I found what the other parent was, it was pretty neat. It was like I was a detective who got to solve this mystery.” 

—Nick Howard, ’17 Ph.D., recipient of the Franc Pomeroy Daniels and Marion Brimhall Daniels Fellowship in Horticulture