Thirteen years collection and evaluation of local apple germplasm in Iran
Iran is one of the most important apple producers in the world. A high level of genetic diversity in apple germplasm has resulted from the seed orchards distributed in different parts of Iran. Local apple genotypes show a high tolerance towards abiotic stresses such as cold temperature, drought and wind. Therefore, they can be employed as the main plant material in breeding programs. Collection and evaluation of apple germplasm were accomplished during 2002-2015 in Iran. Over 350 apple genotypes were collected and planted at the Horticulture Research Station in Karaj. The assessment of morphological, phenological and pomological traits was performed based on UPOV and IPBGR descriptors. Sensory quality traits and storage potential were assessed as well. Until now, more than 50 horticultural traits have been evaluated. According to ripening time the cultivars were grouped into early ripening, mid-summer and late ripening. A strong alternative bearing was determined for 82 genotypes while the rest had low alternative bearing. The genotypes differed considerably in tree vigour and were classified into three groups: weak vigour (16 genotypes), strong (98 genotypes) and intermediate (the rest). 145 genotypes showed to be resistant to spring frost. Genotypes were grouped into 4 types for flesh firmness, 6 for flavour, 6 for fruit size and 6 for fruit shape. A high level of resistance has been identified in some of the accessions to the main apple diseases and pests such as powdery mildew, fungal cankers, brown rot, black rot, fire blight, aphid and codling moth. Nine red or pink flesh genotypes with a high level of antioxidant capacity were identified from the local apple collections. Till now, 15 cultivars are selected as the best native apple genotypes.
Damyar, S., Hassani, D. and Dastjerdi, R. (2018). Thirteen years collection and evaluation of local apple germplasm in Iran. Acta Hortic. 1190, 35-40
apple, germplasm collection, local genotypes