Apple Identification

Asked January 7, 2019, 4:18 PM EST

We have an old family farm where there are old apple trees. I collected samples of leaves and sent the to FruitID in the UK for DNA analysis. The results came back with no matches. Here are my questions: 1. Are there US databases with DNA markers that I could compare my results to see if these are previously identified varieties? 2. If they are not previously known, how do I register a name for the variety. Thank you Rob Simmons

Kent County Michigan

2 Responses

Foundation Plant Services offers DNA fingerprint tests of apples for a fee. You can check with them to see if the FruitID system is compatible with theirs.

The challenge with identifying a variety using fingerprinting is that it may not be in the database, but still is a legitimate named variety. You can do your best search in DNA databases, consult with apple identification gurus, but still not be sure. If you had raised it from seed, knew that it arose from a limb sport, or knew the history of the orchard, then you might be sure it is not already named. If is was really strange in appearance, you might be able to feel confident that no one else developed it.

Certainly you could give it a working name that you can share with friends, family, and fellow hobbyists such as the Midwest Fruit Explorers.

Registering usually means submitting it as a unique variety for plant protection, a laborious and expensive procedure for new varieties intended for commercial nursery production.

Thank you so much for the response. I will check into the sites you provided. I appreciate your taking time to respond to me.