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Journal of Botany
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 480873, 8 pages
Research Article

Genome Size Variation in Malus Species

1Julius Kühn-Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Breeding Research on Horticultural and Fruit Crops, Pillnitzer Platz 3a, 01326 Dresden, Germany
2Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung Gatersleben (IPK), Corrensstraße 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany

Received 22 January 2010; Revised 12 March 2010; Accepted 12 March 2010

Academic Editor: Johann Greilhuber

Copyright © 2010 Monika Höfer and Armin Meister. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The nuclear DNA content for 256 different accessions belonging to 26 primary Malus species and 20 species hybrids was estimated by flow cytometry using propidium iodide. Diploids ranged from 1.245 (M. tschonoskii) to 1.653  pg per 2C nucleus (M. florentina). As our study covered complete phylogenetic and geographic representation, preliminary conclusions between nuclear DNA content and geographical and taxonomic features could be drawn. The data indicated that species found far from the centre of origin in Asia clustered into separate sections and series and possessed higher DNA content. These are M. trilobata and M. florentina the only two species existing in South-East Europe on one hand; M. ioensis and 3x and 4x species M. × heterophylla, M. × platycarpa, M. glaucescens, M. angustifolia, M. lancifolia and M. coronaria—in East and Central North America on the other hand. A significantly decreased 1Cx DNA content was observed with the increase in ploidy for six species.