The apple breeding program at the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center recently released its latest apple variety. The Triumph variety apple contains two different genes for resistance against apple scab, the most common fungal disease impacting apple trees in Minnesota.
With hot, dry summers and extremely cold winters, the university’s apple breeding program works to grow and produce in a climate where apples are not traditionally grown. Their research has produced 28 different cold hardy varieties, including Honeycrisp and SweeTango, in its nearly 115-year history.
The Triumph apple, the child of Honeycrisp and Liberty varieties, contains two forms of genetic scab resistance. Caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, apple scab can be found around the world wherever apples are grown. Scab is the most common disease for apples across the United States and can cause up to 100 percent crop loss and can significantly reduce fruit marketability, according to the New Hampshire College of Life Science and Agriculture.