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Solving the Honeycrisp Apple Ancestry Mystery

Ancestry tests aren’t just for people or pets anymore.

Thanks to DNA-based tracking, NIFA-supported researchers at the University of Minnesota (U of M) have finally traced the family tree of the Honeycrisp apple — one of the top 10 varieties produced in the United States. Recently published in HortScience, the findings are the result of sifting through thousands of DNA markers to unwind the pedigrees of many of the U of M’s best apple cultivars. Researchers were able to follow the roots back to European ancestral varieties and the first days of the U of M apple breeding program, which began in 1908 at the Horticultural Research Center.

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