Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, Switzerland

Breeding fire blight resistant apple varieties

215 apple selections and cultivars were screened in a glasshouse shoot infection test for their susceptibility to fire blight in the frame of projects that were financed by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. Selected varieties were also examined for their flower susceptibility towards fire blight in an open air protected orchard. Moreover, a fire blight resistance gene originating from the wild apple «Malus x robusta 5» was precisely localized in the genome and the efficiency was tested by introduction of the gene into the susceptible cultivar «Gala». A Fast Track approach was used to speed up breeding of fire blight resistant apple cultivars with market potential.

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