Here in Kentville, Nova Scotia we have established one of the most diverse collections of apples in the world. Our Apple Biodiversity Collection (ABC) is a collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Dalhousie University. Test your knowledge of apple diversity by checking out this list of the named cultivars in the ABC.
We grafted 1309 different apple cultivars to M9 rootstock in triplicate in the summer of 2011. Most of these apple cultivars come from the collection housed by our collaborators in Geneva, New York. But we also included hundreds of advanced breeding lines from Canadian breeding programmes, with a strong emphasis on the cultivars developed over the past 100 years here at the AFHRC in Kentville, Nova Scotia. In addition, we have over 100 different types of wild apple (Malus sieversii) from Central Asia that were collected by a team of USDA scientists.
We not only maintain the ABC in order to preserve apple biodiversity, but we also study the diversity of the apples within it. With this information, we will not only gain fundamental insights into fruit biology, but we will also determine how to use this information to more efficiently breed successful cultivars that require less chemical input.