In this minreview, mechanical and physical control against apple fungal diseases among non-chemical control approaches were summarized. This overview listed five groups of mechanical and physical control methods: pruning, removal of inoculum sources, shredding of leaf litter, burying of inoculum sources and flaming of leaf litter. These m...ethods were shown to reduce succesfully infection potential of inoculum sources in orchards and these non-chemical control measures are one of the most essential approaches for preventative fungal disease management. However, most of these methods are not widely spread in the apple-growing practice due to relatively low control efficacy, medium to high labour costs and/or time limits during the season.
The ecological farming and an increasing demand for healthy fruits free from chemical residuals necessitated the reevaluation of the existing cultivars and breeding suitable cultivars for the new requirements. We have gathered the old genotypes known in the Carpathian Basin, and we have selected the most suitable ones according to fruit quality... and resistance to diseases in the last fifteen years. The main aim was the selection of resistant genotypes against fire blight and powdery mildew as gene sources for our breeding program. On the other hand, we consider the best quality traditional cultivars as extensive landscape elements (wayside tree rows or extensive squash producing plantations).
During the pathological evaluation 'Szemes alma', 'Pónyik', 'Sikulai', 'Tordai piros 'cavil' and 'Szabadkai szercsika' cultivars proved to be good resistance sources (due to their outstanding resistance to fire blight). The latter four cultivars are not susceptible even to fungal diseases, and their quality is also acceptable so those are commendable for ecological farming or for renewing the sparse orchards. According to fruit quality and low susceptibility to diseases 'Batul' and 'Vilmos renet' can also be offered for extensive organic production.
We have made original or renewed pomological descriptions of the selected cultivars, and we also publish their characters according to the terms of UPOV TG/14/8 based on to our evaluations.
In the present study, g2ps1 gene from Gerbera hybrida coding for 2-pyrone synthase which contribute for fungal and insect resistance was used. The aim was to work out an efficient approach of genetic transformation for apple cvs. ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Royal Gala’ and ‘MM111’, ‘M26’ rootstocks for improving their fungal resistance... using genetic engineering techniques. Adventitious shoot formation from leaf pieces of apples studied was achieved using middle leaf segments taken from the youngest leaves from in vitro-grown plants.
Optimum conditions for ‚direct’ shoot organogenesis resulted in high regeneration efficiency of 0%, 95%, 92%, 94% in the studied apples respectively. Putative transgenic shoots could be obtained on MS media with B5 Vitamins, 5.0 mg l-1 BAP, or 2.0 mg l-1 TDZ with 0.2 mg l-1 NAA in the presence of the selection agent “PPT” at 3.0-5.0 mgl-1. Shoot multiplication of transgenic shoots was achieved on: MS + B5 vitamins + 1.0 mg l-1 BAP + 0.3 mg l-1 IBA, 0.2 mg l-1 GA3+1.0 g/l MES+ 30 g/l sucrose + 7.0 g/l Agar, with the selection agent PPT at 5.0 mg l-1 and were subcultured every 4 weeks in order to get sufficient material to confirm transformation of the putative shoots obtained. Six, seven, one and six transgenic clones of the apples studied respectively have been obtained and confirmed by selection on the media containing the selection agent “PPT” and by PCR analysis using the suitable primers in all clones obtained for the presence of the selection” bar gene (447 bp) and the gene-of- interest “g2PS1” (1244 bp), with transformation efficiency of 0.4%, 0.6%, 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. These transgenic clones were multiplied further in vitro in the presence of the selection agent ‘PPT’ and rooted in vitro. Rooted transgenic plantlets were successfully acclimatized and are being kept under-containment conditions according to the biosafety by-law in Syria to evaluate their performance for fungal resistance .
In the frame of the apple breeding program at the Department of Fruit Science old cultivars found in the Carpathian basin were involved in examination as well. Beside testing susceptibility to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora of old genotypes (historical, local and regional cultivars) originating from scattered orchards of Visk (foot of...the Carpathian Mountains), fruit quality was also evaluated and other open-field observations were made.
According to the results of inner content examinations, 'Szemes alma' and 'Sikulai alma', chosen as gene sources for breeding to resistance against fire blight, had inner content values worthy to mention in some aspects, and competing with those of the control cultivar 'Jonathan'. The quality of 'Pónyik alma', also recommended as a gene source is confirmed by the data of earlier literature. Further three cultivars ('Batul', 'Vilmos renet', 'Zöld sóvári') also proved to be good based on resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the first two cultivars are suitable from the point of view of fruit quality, too.
In our field observations, susceptibility to apple scab and powdery mildew was evaluated. Among cultivars selected from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains on the base of resistance against Erwinia amylovora, the production value of 'Szemes alma' is worsened by its high susceptibility to apple scab. Further selected cultivars ('Sikulai', 'Pónyik alma', 'Batul', 'Vilmos renet') are not too susceptible to fungal diseases and their fruit quality is also suitable, therefore they can be recommended for direct planting in ecological farming or in restoring scattered orchards.