The resistance of peach cultivars to the most important diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses and mycoplasms was studied in Romania over two working stages in the period between 1985-2005. The major diseases examined were: Cytospora cincta Sacc., Taphrina deformans (Berk) Tul., Moruluua laxa (Aderh. & Ruhl) Honey,
During 1997-2002, studies on the physiological and biochemical changes due to powdery mildew attack in peach and nectarine cultivars and hybrids belonging to different classes of resistance had been performed at the Research Station for Fruit Tree Growing (RSFTG) Baneasa Bucharest, located in the southern part of Romania. The study was based on... disease assessments in the field and on other diagnosis criteria.
The southern part of Romania has favourable ecological conditions for growing peach and nectarine but trees have been attacked by various pathogens such as Sphaerotheca pannosa (Wallr.: Fr.) Lev. var. persicae Woronichin fungus for a long time. The presence of the pathogen causes important changes in the quantity and quality of fruits and affects the metabolism of trees.
This study was focused on several physiological and biochemical parameters such as photosynthesis and respiration intensity along with catalase activity; and changes in some biochemical compounds such as free, total and linked water content, dry matter, nitrogen and protein content, tannin levels. The aim was to find possible correlation among the above parameters and the biotic stress induced by the powdery mildew fungus calculated as attack degree (AD%).
Results showed that photosynthesis diminished significantly in the case of the attacked phenotypes, the respiration was more intense in the infected cultivars and catalase proved to be less intense in the affected plants. The total water content significantly increased in contrast to the dry matter and tannin contents, which greatly reduced in the case of resistant cultivars such as 'Victoria', Vectared 7', 'KB 11-40'. The total nitrogen and protein levels showed less influence on resistance to powdery mildew on all cultivars. All genetic material found resistant to powdery mildew is currently used in peach and nectarine breeding programs in Romania.
Further studies focused on isolation and characterization of resistance genes for powdery mildew resistance will be done in the future based on data collected during several years.
Researches concerning the selection of some nectarine varieties as genitors for the breeding program in Romania
The geographic location of Bucharest area, the nature of its soil and its climate offer remarkably favourable conditions for nectarine growing, with juicy and well flavoured fruit, good for fresh consumption and processing.
The five years' investigation (1996-2000) has helped to identify some nectarine cultivars and hybrids (NJN 58, ARK... 165, ARK 139, Morton, ARK 107, Romamer I, ARK 125, Firebrite) with exceptional fruit quality (dry matter content, titratable acidity, vitamin C content, overall sugar, and amount of pectic substances).
Dry matter content varied over the three years from 8.3 to 18.5% (NJN 68), meanwhile titratable acidity varied between 0.26 and 1.08% (Romamer I). Sugar / acidity ratio was within the limits of 8.6 and 36.5 (Nectared 7). Nectarines have high vitamin C content, over 10 mg/100g (Fairlane, NJN 67, Regina, Harko), glucides were found in Firebrite, Romamer I varieties and NJN 21, CIR1T127, HFSR3P4, HNA hybrids.
Some cultivars have been recommended for planting in this southern area of Romania (Crimsongold, ARK 125, Harko, Hardyred, ARK 134), others used as quality genitors (ARK 85, Nectared 7, NJN 21, ARK 21, ARK 134, Fantasia) in breeding projects.