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Brown’s apple breeding efforts featured in Atlas Obscura

Susan Brown

Apple breeder Susan Brown, professor in the Horticulture Section, explains all that’s involved in selecting and commercializing new apple varieties in an October 20 article Every Apple You Eat Took Years and Years to Make in Atlas Obscura.

“As the head of the apple-breeding program at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, one of the largest apple-breeding programs in the world, Brown is searching for fruit that no one has ever seen or tasted before—beautiful apples that can withstand the dangers of the field, that grow uniform and large, that store well, that can be shipped easily to grocery stores, that have deep and satisfying flavors, and that are, above all, crisp and juicy, the two qualities consumers most desire. By harnessing the criss-cross power of genetic variation, she can create new apples, better than any already for sale.”

It took 11 years from cross to commercialization for Snapdragon, one of her latest releases, “one of fastest tracks in apple-breeding history.”

“’Some perennial breeders never get to this stage,’ says Brown. ‘You can retire before you know your variety is a success.’”

Read the whole article.

 

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