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CAHNRS Department of Horticulture Genomics Lab

Designing the Perfect, Personalized Apple

You’ve heard about the Human Genome Project, but what about the Apple Genome Project? Mapping the apple genome is a project of scientists here at Washington State University working with collaborators around the world. They’re helping orchardists come up with new varieties that require fewer inputs (such as pesticides and fertilizers) and produce more nutritious fruit. KPLU science and health reporter Keith Seinfeld recently met with Amit Dhingra, one of the leaders of the project. Listen to the KPLU News 88.5 broadcast here.

WSU scientist unraveling the genetics of apples

Amit Dhingra is an unlikely champion of the state’s $2 billion apple industry.

The scientist from New Delhi, with his white lab coat, doesn’t fit the mold of a fruit-tree farmer. But in less than two years at Washington State University, Dhingra’s quest to build a better apple has captured the industry’s imagination. Read the article by Clay Holtzman on the Puget Sound Business Journal website.


In 2008, horticultural genomicist Amit Dhingra gave a WSU Innovators talk in downtown Seattle.

Innovators imageBig ideas don’t grow on trees–they help trees grow better. In Washington state, where tree fruit is a multibillion dollar industry, WSU researcher Amit Dhingra’s big ideas for improving fruit quality and growing techniques are making a world of difference.

An expert in fruit genomics, Dr. Dhingra uses gene discovery and biotechnology applications to understand and enhance the unique biological characteristics of major food crops, including apples, grapes, cherries, and pears. With his colleagues at WSU, Dr. Dhingra is identifying the keys to growing more nutritious and delicious fruit. His pioneering work in genome sequencing is creating new knowledge for designing crops to meet the demands of our changing economic and environmental conditions.

View Dr. Dhingra’s Powerpoint presentation and view a video preview.