Field Evaluation of Traditional Apple Cultivars to Induced Diseases and Pests
During the survey we studied traditional old apple cultivars in order to test disease resistance, as part of an apple breeding program. Diseases and pests assessments were made throughout the two growing season in 2008 and 2009 in traditional apple cultivars (‘Batul’, ‘Pónyik’, and ‘Sóvári’) from stray and commercial (‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Starkrimson’) apple orchards. Our data add to a body of evidence indicating that traditional apple cultivars under natural selection and without pesticide regime are highly and/or moderately resistant to fire blight, apple powdery mildew and apple scab. High resistance was observed for green apple aphid (‘Sóvári’) and rosy leaf-curling aphid (all cultivars, except ‘Sóvári’) throughout the assessment. Susceptibility from mediate to high level was observed for fruit peel moth and pear-leaf blister moth, while resistance and/or moderate resistance for spotted tentiform leafminer and codling moth. The codling moth damages were significantly correlated with seed number in fruits throughout the whole vegetation period. We can conclude that old apple cultivars sustained in their original regions could be a significant source of genes for apple breeding programs.
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