WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Apple Breeding Program

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Breeding Program Outline

The Washington State University apple breeding program began in 1994 to develop new varieties suitable to the unique climate of central Washington. Washington is the leading apple producing state with over 50% of U.S. production. Unfortunately, many of the new varieties developed in the world are not well adapted to growing conditions in central Washington or available to the majority of Washington growers.

The goal is to produce apples of a high eating quality with particular factors of outstanding flavor, texture and juiciness. The breeding program is a traditional breeding program, hybridizing parents with desirable traits. Promising seedlings are selected from large populations and their fruit is evaluated in the laboratory for eating quality and suitability for long-term storage. This program was one of the 12 core US breeding programs of the SCRI RosBREED project, enabling the application of marker-assisted breeding within the 4 years of the project. Click here to learn more about how the program works.

The first release from the program, ‘WA 2’, was offered to Washington State growers for evaluation in December 2009. This was followed by 'WA 5' in 2010 and 'WA 38' in 2012. Several other elite selections have been planted in commercial grower trials in central Washington.

Support for this program comes from Washington State University and the Washington apple industry through the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.


Release of 'WA 38,' new apple cultivar

an eye-catching, large, dark red apple with a remarkably firm, crisp, and juicy texture that also stores well. The apple has outstanding eating quality, exceptional flavor, ample sweetness, and sufficient tartness to impart real character. Our feeling is that when it comes to the combination of taste, texture, and beauty, “WA 38” has no equal in today’s marketplace. Washington State University Research Foundation (WSURF), the licensing arm of WSU, desires to find an exclusive licensee to manage its commercialization (more...)

Kate Evans

WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
1100 N. Western Ave.
Wenatchee, WA 98801-1230

Phone: 509.663.8181, Ext. 245
Fax: 509.662.8714

Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave, Washington State University, Wenatchee WA 98801, 509-663-8181, Contact Us