Molecular characterisation of apple accessions with respect to aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase gene (ACS1) polymorphism K., Kriel J., Bester C., Louw E., Roodt-Wilding R., Tobutt K. (2020): Molecular characterisation of apple accessions with respect to aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase gene (ACS1) polymorphism. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 47: 69-79.
download PDF

The ARC apple gene bank collection was genotyped for the fruit expressed gene ACS1, in which a short-interspersed element (SINE) in the promoter is known, when homozygous, to correlate with the delayed ethylene production. Primers were designed amplifying products less than 500 bp and 224 cultivars of domestic apple were analysed, 169 not previously genotyped. Of these, 82 were aa (homozygous for the high ethylene allele at 202 bp), 73 were ab and 14 bb (homozygous for the low ethylene allele, with the SINE, at 339 bp). The difference between the allele sizes, 137 bp, observed in the current study is consistent with the indel of 138 bp originally described, but differs considerably from the indel of 166 bp reported in literature. In addition, 21 accessions of other Malus species were analysed. Only one, M. ‘Golden Hornet’, had the b allele, which suggests it may have been introgressed from M. pumila.

Akçay M.E., Fİdancı A., Burak M. (2008): Growth and yield of some sweet cherry cultivars grafted on ‘Gisela® 5’ rootstock. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 795: 277–281.
Alston F.H. (1989): Breeding apples for long storage. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 224: 109–117.
Bulens I., Van de Poel B., Hertog M.L.A.T.M., Cristescu S.M., Harren F.J.M., De Proft M.P., Geeraerd A.H., Nicolai B.M. (2014): Dynamic changes of the ethylene biosynthesis in “Jonagold” apple. Physiologia Plantarum, 150: 161–173.
Costa F., Stella S., Van De Weg W.E., Guerra W., Cecchinel M., Dallavia J., Koller B., Sansavini, S. (2005): Role of the genes Md-ACO1 and Md-ACS1 in ethylene production and shelf life of apple (Malus domestica Borkh). Euphytica, 141: 181–190.
Costa F., Van De Weg W.E., Stella S., Dondini L., Pratesi D., Musacchi S., Sansavini S. (2008): Map position and functional allelic diversity of Md-Exp7, a new putative expansin gene associated with fruit softening in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) and pear (Pyrus communis). Tree Genetics and Genomes, 4: 575–586.
De La Rosa R., James C. M., Tobutt K. R. (2002): Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellites in olive (Olea europaea L.) and their transferability to other genera in the Oleaceae. Molecular Ecology Notes, 2: 265–267.
Dougherty L., Zhu Y., Xu K. (2016): Assessing the allelotypic effect of two aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid synthase-encoding genes MdACS1 and MdACS3a on fruit ethylene production and softening in Malus. Horticulture Research, 3: 16024–16033.
Fernández-Fernández F. (2010): Final Report of Defra project GC0140 ‘Fingerprinting the national apple and pear collections’. Available at (assessed Feb 20, 2013).
Gorny J.R., Kader A.A. (1997): Low oxygen and elevated carbon dioxide atmospheres inhibit ethylene biosynthesis in preclimacteric and climacteric apple fruit. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science, 122: 542–546.
Harada T., Sunako T., Wakasa Y., Soejima J., Satoh T., Niizeki M. (2000): An allele of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase gene (Md-ACS1) accounts for the low level of ethylene production in climacteric fruits of some apple cultivars. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 101: 742–746.
HORTGRO (2016): Key deciduous fruit statistics. Available at (assessed Aug 28, 2017).
Kumar S., Bink M.C.A.M., Volz R.K., Bus V.G.M., Chagné D. (2012): Towards genomic selection in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) breeding programmes: Prospects, challenges and strategies. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 8: 1–14.
Liebhard R., Gianfranceschi L., Koller B., Ryder C.D., Tarchini R., Van De Weg E., Gessler C. (2002): Development and characterisation of 140 new microsatellites in apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.). Molecular Breeding, 10: 217–241.
Marić S., Lukić M. (2014): Allelic polymorphism and inheritance of MdACS1 and MdACO1 genes in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). Plant Breeding, 133: 108–114.
Nybom H., Sehic J., Garkava-Gustavsson L. (2008): Modern apple breeding is associated with a significant change in the allelic ratio of the ethylene production gene Md-ACS1. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 83: 673–677.
Nybom H., Ahmadi-Afzadi M., Garkava-Gustavsson L., Sehic J. (2012): Selection for improved fruit texture and storability in apple. Acta Horticulturae, 934: 849–854.
Oraguzie N.C., Iwanami H., Soejima J., Harad T., Hall A. (2004): Inheritance of the Md-ACS1 gene and its relationship to fruit softening in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 108: 1526–1533.
Oraguzie N.C., Volz R.K., Whitworth C.J., Bassett H. C.M., Hall A.J., Gardiner S.E. (2007): Influence of Md-ACS1 allelotype and harvest season within an apple germplasm collection on fruit softening during cold air storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 44: 212–219.
Peace C. (2014): Apple fruit storability-firmness retention after storage by fruit ethylene production. RosBREED-enabled jewel use. Available at (assessed Aug 12, 2014).
Potter D., Eriksson T., Evans R.C., Oh S., Smedmark J.E.E., Morgan D.R., Kerr M., Robertson K.R., Arsenault M., Dickinson T.A., Campbell C.S. (2007): Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 266: 5–43.
Schupp J.R., Greene D.W. (2004): Effect of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) on preharvest drop, fruit quality, and maturation of “McIntosh” apples. I. Concentration and timing of dilute applications of AVG. HortScience, 39: 1030–1035.
Sunako T., Sakuraba W., Senda M., Akada S., Ishikawa R., Niizeki M., Harada T. (1999): An allele of the ripening-specific 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase gene (ACS1) in apple fruit with a long storage life. Plant Physiology, 119: 1297–1304.
Sutton J.T., Robertson B.C., Jamieson I.G. (2011): Dye shift: A neglected source of genotyping error in molecular ecology. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11: 514–520.
Varanasi V., Shin S., Johnson F., Mattheis J. P., Zhu Y. (2013): Differential suppression of ethylene biosynthesis and receptor genes in “Golden Delicious” apple by preharvest and postharvest 1-MCP treatments. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 32: 585–595.
Vaughan S.P., Russell K., Sargent D.J., Tobutt K.R. (2006): Isolation of S-locus F-box alleles in Prunus avium and their application in a novel method to determine self-incompatibility genotype. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 112: 856–866.
Velasco R et al. (2010): The genome of the domesticated apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). Nature Genetics, 42: 833–839.
Wakasa Y., Kudo H., Ishikawa R., Akada S., Senda M., Niizeki M., Harada T. (2006): Low expression of an endopolygalacturonase gene in apple fruit with long-term storage potential. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 39: 193–198.
Wang A., Yamakake J., Kudo H., Wakasa Y., Hatsuyama Y., Igarashi M., Kasai A., Li T., Harada T. (2009): Null mutation of the MdACS3 gene, coding for a ripening-specific 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase, leads to long shelf life in apple fruit. Plant Physiology, 151: 391–399.
Yuan R., Carbaugh D.H. (2007): Effects of NAA, AVG, and 1-MCP on ethylene biosynthesis, preharvest fruit drop, fruit maturity, and quality of ‘Golden Supreme’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ apples. HortScience, 42: 101–105.
Zhu Y., Barritt B.H. (2008): Md-ACS1 and Md-ACO1 genotyping of apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) breeding parents and suitability for marker-assisted selection. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 4: 555–562.
Zoufalá J., Vejl P., Melounová M., Blažek J., Křelinová J. (2009): Apple genetic resources and their molecular analysis. Agriculture, 55: 69–79.
download PDF

© 2020 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences