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The feasibility of in situ conservation of European chestnut in Azerbaijan in the face of blight, Cryphonectria parasitica: a review

Wall, J., Aghayeva, D.N.
Acta horticulturae 2014 no.1032 pp. 271-278
Castanea sativa, Cryphonectria parasitica, biological control, blight, center of diversity, disease outbreaks, fungi, genetic resources, genetic variation, perennials, research projects, virulence, Azerbaijan, Europe
The genetic diversity of European chestnut, Castanea sativa Mill., is undergoing rapid erosion in its center of diversity, eastern Turkey and the Caucasus, due to the arrival and spread of the fungal blight, Cryphonectria parasitica (Murill) Barr. In Azerbaijan, blight was first reported in 2008. Currently, blight has been observed in all regions of Azerbaijan where chestnut is grown. Typically, projects and research designed to respond to plant disease epidemics do not also consider the importance of conserving genetic resources. The present review was undertaken to evaluate the biological suitability of Azerbaijan for implementation of in situ conservation of European chestnut using the biological control technique known as applied hypovirulence. A review of available chestnut blight characterization efforts in Europe suggests that low vegetative compatibility diversity of C. parasitica in Azerbaijan will allow for the successful application of hypovirulence as a biological control. A review of estimates of the area and population required for successful in situ conservation of woody perennials suggests that Azerbaijan will be meet requirements for significant in situ conservation of Castanea sativa.