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Evaluation of resistance to sharka virus (Plum pox potyvirus) in apricot

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Authors: P. Martínez‑Gómez, F. Dicenta
Issue: 94V-2 (76-88)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Prunus armeniaca L., Plum pox polyvirus, breeding program, resistance evaluation, GF305 peach

Sharka (Plum pox potyvirus) is one of the limiting factors in apricot production in the affected areas. The virosis can be definitively controlled by developing resistant cultivars. In this paper we describe the most important steps involved in evaluating resistance to sharka: Germination and inoculation of GF305, apricot grafting and cold chamber treatment. The results show that seeds should be germinated by stratification at 7°C for 14 weeks or, if the material is needed urgently, by eliminating the shell and pellicle (after which the seeds germinate in 3 weeks). Neither mechanical nor inoculation by injection provide good results, and inoculation with a chip or a chip‑bud of a diseased GF305 was the most successful. Grafting of apricot onto an inoculated rootstock showing evident symptoms of sharka, is recommended. The best time for grafting seems to be May and Real Fino apricot gave better results than GF3005. The artificially induced period of rest in a cold chamber al 7°C should last 9 week s in the case of GF305 and 11 weeks in the case of apricot.

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