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Identification of wild apple germplasm (Malus spp.) accessions with resistance to the postharvest decay pathogens Penicillium expansum and Colletotrichum acutatum

Jurick II, Wayne M., Janisiewicz, Wojciech J., Saftner, Robert A., Vico, Ivana, Gaskins, Verneta L., Park, Eunhee, Forsline, Philip L., Fazio, Gennaro, Conway, William S.
Plant breeding 2011 v.130 no.2 pp. 481
Colletotrichum acutatum, Malus, Penicillium expansum, acidity, apples, center of origin, cultivars, decay resistance, fungi, genes, genetic variation, germplasm, germplasm conservation, molecular genetics, pathogenicity, pathogens, soluble solids, Kazakhstan, New York
Penicillium expansum and Colletotrichum acutatum cause blue mold and bitter rot of apples during storage which results in significant economic losses. Resistance to these pathogens in commercial apple cultivars has not been documented in the literature. An apple germplasm collection, from the center of origin in Kazakhstan, is maintained in Geneva, New York. This collection represents a more diverse apple gene pool than commercial cultivars which was evaluated for resistance to blue mold and bitter rot. Resistance reactions were skewed toward susceptibility for both fungi and comprised the majority of accessions examined. However, resistance to P. expansum was confirmed in select accessions over multiple years. Maturation patterns and quality indices for soluble solids and acidity, which also may affect pathogenicity, were highly variable and represent the genetic diversity of the germplasm collection. Resistance in four accessions to C. acutatum and two accessions resistant to both P. expansum and C. acutatum, are reported here for the first time. Data from this study will serve as a foundation for conventional apple breeding programs and molecular genetics investigations to provide resistance against blue mold and bitter rot in commercial apple varieties.