Morphological and Molecular (SSR) Analysis of Old Apple Cultivars

Investigations were made on the morphological traits of the flowers, shoots and fruits of five apple cultivars in the Batul group and four in the Sóvári Group, in order to prepare UPOV (Union Internationale pour la Protection des Obtentions Végétales) descriptions of these cultivars. Marker analysis involving 12 microsatellite primers was performed to identify 13 genotypes. All the analytical methods indicated that ‘Zöld batul’ could be clearly distinguished from the other ‘Batul’ selections, suggesting that it is an independent cultivar distantly related to ‘Batul’. Within the Sóvári Group, the cultivars could be clearly distinguished from each other on the basis of morphological and molecular analysis. The variants of ‘Beregi sóvári’ collected in the United Kingdom and in Sub-Carpathia cannot be considered to be the same cultivar. The genotype preserved in the UK National Apple Collection at Brogdale should be considered to be an unknown cultivar. The present examinations demonstrated that a combination of morphological and genetic analyses provides a more reliable identification of apple genotypes than pomological descriptions or genetic analysis alone. 

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