The South Lakeland Orchard Group - DNA Testing
Progress in Apple & Pear Cultivar Identification and Validation by DNA Analysis
by Andy Gilchrist, Chairman, South Lakeland Orchard Group
Gardeners who purchase an apple tree from a garden centre or nursery assume its labelled identity to be accurate. We all prefer certainty to uncertainty and expect things like cultivar identity to be black and white. Historically, it was difficult and time-consuming to prove otherwise. Consequently most mistaken identities went unnoticed and if the tree was subsequently used for propagation, the mistake endured, for decades or even centuries. Such mislabelling may occur during propagation either by carelessness or negligence. Labels over time become brittle and break off. In years gone by, an identity may have been forgotten, so a new name was given, leading to one or more synonyms for the same cultivar.
Fortunately in August 2010 the complete genome of Malus domestica was published, showing a structure of 17 pairs of chromosomes bearing 57,386 genes. East Malling Research then undertook a DNA analysis study ..... to read Andy's full LHS DNA article click here
Local Apples & Pears unique by DNA analysis named by the South Lakeland Orchard Group
The winter meetings in 2018 & 2019 named 22 pear & 9 apple varieties shown to be unique by DNA analysis
Many of the pears were found by Phil Rainford at Crookfoot orchard settled in the Gilpin Valley, at the Western end of Crook village in Cumbria. They were propagated under the CR prefix. Other pears & apples were found elsewhere in Cumbria & North Lancashire. The “P” and “A” code numbers are the identities under which they were submitted for DNA analysis.
Identified Apples & Pears unique by DNA are as follows:
CR24/CR25: Size medium/small.
Season early Sept.
Juicy, sweet, slightly gritty
CR8 (lower): Size small to medium. Very long, curved stalk. Striking greyish/brown appearance. Season mid Sept. Flavour bland(at this stage).
CR12/CR37. Size medium (to114grams).Season mid August. Hint of marzipan. Best peeled as can have astringent skin.
CR26/4,35,36,44. Size medium-large (to 210gr) Season late, eating from early November. Buttery, fairly sweet.
CR 29. Also CR 28,30,31,34.Size medium (to 102gr). Season early from late August. Sweet, juicy in 2018 but can be drier.
FAWN: location unknown. Small golden/fawn. Dessert- delicious-sweet and juicy, ready end of August.
Wt. to 113gr.
RED SCAR: former farm orchard, Preston. Medium -sized, green flushed dark crimson. Dessert. September. 100gr.
CRB: one of three pears found within a bield above the valley containing the other pear trees. Season early to mid-September. Medium size to 100grams (in 2014).Light green with orange-red flush
“Potter" pear from Witherslack area - horizontal tree in field opposite house of potter -grafted c2011. Deep purple colour becoming less intense; long slender curved stalk. September. Wt to 115gr. (T)
Walton Weeper (CR3) - name should remain as written and anecdotal evidence of its presence south of Preston. Early August pear once sent to Wigan market
Tongue's Seedling- again name should be retained as written and verbal information. Introduced by Richard Tongue who lived at Forton; he died in 1853
P012:CR20/21/27: Gould Knapp (Threave Pears)
CR11 (P572/2018) - small, ripening from mid July- probably the earliest of the Crookfoot pears. Leaves delicate,"feathery"(Hilary's description!). No special flavour.
CR14 (P724/2018) medium-large. Weight to 142gram.Late September ripening, Soft, fairly sweet flesh.
This is a database match, but no name given and “NFC to advise" comment.
CR A (P571/2018) - another bield pear. Medium-small, fruit in clusters. Mid September."Flesh creamy, juicy."
CR5a (P723/2018) (early)- two varieties on Cr 5. This one fruited for the first time last year. No notes as yet!
CR5b: (P726) Second variety on same tree. Size small. Not yet tasted.
Patrick (P563/2018) Bright green pear from Freehold area of Lancaster. Grafted c 2008. Named after owner.
CH3 – Timperley (P363/P568)
Adele’s striped apple = Hazelslack striped (Storth): soft fleshed round apple; light yellow with varying red stripes. Very photogenic. Mid season culinary.
Low Farm Pippin:
(Crosthwaite Fragrance / Betty Robinson)
Dob 3: Farm orchard below Crosthwaite Church. Late September- perfumed; very fleshy stalk, striped apple
A2071/2018 Chorley vicarage - old tree next to Keswick Codlin. Looks like Tower of Glamis. Grafted 2015
A2064/2018: Shore Road, Silverdale in Edwardian orchard of knowns including B.of Bath, Gravenstein, Worcester Pearmain . Grafted 2007
A2058/2018: Cellini type, Appleby
A048/2016: Howridding A
A2057/2018: Sylvia, Preesall
Pears (17) already planted in the Brian Fereday Westmorland Pear Collection at Sizergh Castle
List of varieties planted DNA result
CR1, CR12, CR24/25, CR26, CR29 Unique
Fawn, Potter, CR11, CRA Unique
Green Slipper Unique (NFG)
Holeslack not done
CR20 Gould Knap
Beurre Capiaumont (failed)
APPLES submitted for RLC Panel Review - Outcomes
Name Sample Panel Notes
Bradley's Beauty A037 Accepted (already in observation plot)
Mower’s Quench A038 Accepted
Nancy Crow A018 Accepted
Trumpeter A1719 This variety seems likely to be part of a landrace population and other
samples being DNA'd may shed further light on this. Roll over and
Alan’s Apple A1725 Accepted
Burgh Beauty A2046 Accepted (need flesh texture & taste description)
Eddie Potts A1923 Accepted
Philip Barron A2074 Accepted
Betty Robinson (Hirst’s WP) A1961/A410(MAN) Accepted (very perfumed)
Low Farm Pippin A1962 Accepted
Livsey’s Imperial A035 Request info as to why this is thought to be Livsey’s Imperial – no real
provenance in submission: unsubstantiated match and no clear