In Romania, walnut Juglans regia L. is an important fruit crop, although most of the fruit production comes from non-grafted walnut trees, which are natural hybrids. Breeding programs have been launched during last 30 years to develop new cultivars with uniform fruit quality. In addition, foreign cultivars have been introduced and tested to establish a valuable walnut genepool. To improve the present assortment of generative rootstocks in walnut and to examine the infestation level, a long term survey was carried out in Eastern Transylvania. The main physical characteristics of fruits and its variation to the infestation level were considered. The cumulative distribution of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis and Gnomonia leptostyla were relatively low and the maximum value was around 15%. The highest infestation of husk with X. arboricola pv. juglandis was observed for roundish forms and differences were statistically significant comparing with other phenotypes. Infestation with G. leptostyla was similar for roundish, elliptic and thwarting egg-shaped phenotypes, while the husk infestation for egg-shaped phenotypes was not observed. The walnut population studied in our experiment can be considered as a genetically valuable population. More than 20% of them have upper class quality fruits with at least or more than 50% of nutmeat. Do to the large scale climate variation in Eastern Transylvania and the high humidity favourable for pathogen infestations, these population can be considered resistant and well adapted to abiotic and biotic factors.
Among diseases that affect walnut, bacterial blight is considered the most important one in all walnut growing areas both from Hungary and Romania. For the determination of susceptibility/resistance of walnut cultivars in our posterior work planned, 61 bacterial isolates were collected from walnuts showing symptoms of blight, with the purpose of isolating Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis (Xaj). The characteristic Xaj colonies, frequently present as saprophytes in the infected plant tissues, were separated from other bacteria according to their morphology, yellow colour, hydrolysis of starch, and oxidation of glucose. All isolates were tested for pathogenicity by hypersensitive reaction on tobacco leaves (Nicotiana tabacum L.), bean pods (Phaseolus vulgaris L) and unripe nuts (Juglans regia L.). Determination of taxonomy of the selected isolates denotes a possible subdivision (races, biotypes) of Xaj occurring in different geographical areas, API 20NE and API 50CH kits were used. Hungarian and Romanian strains showed a high degree of similarity of carbohydrate utilization but slightly differed from the type strain. All were Cu-sensitive.