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Conference paper2007Peer reviewed

Screening wild cherry (Prunus avium L.) micropropagated clones for resistance to four Phytophthora species

Santini, Alberto; Ghelardini, Luisa; De, Rogatis Anna; Guerri, Serena; Vedele, Stefano


Prunus avium L., wild cherry, is a valuable component of diversity in mixed coniferous forests and temperate broadleaf forest ecosystems in Europe. Wild cherry is also one of the most prized species for wood production, and as a result it has been increasingly planted both in artificial stands and in natural forests. A number of Phytophthora species have been associated with root rot of wild and cultivated cultivars of cherry trees under different environmental conditions. In vitro Phytophthora pathogenicity assays are commonly used in order to avoid soil contamination and to speed up the selection procedure to obtain resistant plants For these assays the cited Authors used callus tissue cultures, however, the symptom assessment could lead to questionable results far from the natural host-pathogen interactions. Thus, the purpose of this paper was to determine in vitro the pathogenicity of four Phytophthora isolates of several species (P. alni ssp. uniformis, P. megasperma var. megasperma, P. citrophthora, and P. cinnamomi) on micropropagated wild cherry genotypes, previously selected for having superior phenotypic characters and adapted to different Italian environments, by using plantlets 10 cm high cultivated in sterile environment. Host susceptibility was evaluated in accordance with a disease score scale, taking into account the percent of yellowing/wilting . All the wild cherry clones resulted highly susceptible to P. citrophthora. The P. cinnamomi virulence varied according to the challenged clone, while P. alni ssp. uniformis and P. megasperma var. megasperma were able to cause only modest symptoms. Three of the clones showed resistance to the last three pathogens. The results are consistent with what reported in literature. The method is functional and quick, moreover any contamination risk of the environment by the pathogens spores is avoided. For these reasons it could be considered for early resistance screening tests. On the other hand, the need of a specific protocol for regeneration and multiplication of each clone acted as a limiting factor in terms of number of challenged clones and replicates of each clone


wild cherry; Phytophthora; Prunus avium

Published in


The Fourth IUFRO Meeting on Phytophthoras in Forests and Natural Ecosystems

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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