Dr. Gregory Peck, an Assistant Professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University, has been assessing a large number of apple genotypes for their potential use in hard cider production. Through this work, he has discovered inconsistencies between many U.S. varieties and their original counterparts. He recently teamed up with Dr. Gayle Volk at the United States Department of Agriculture to uncover the truth behind these enigmatic cultivars.
“We employed DNA fingerprinting tools to confirm our suspicions that these were misnamed cultivars,” explains Peck. “But now we’re left with a mystery. What are the misidentified cultivars?”
As it turns out, it’s a mystery that the Biodiversity Heritage Library can help solve.