BREEDING PROGRAM FOR PEAR GENETIC IMPROVEMENT FOR PSYLLA, PEAR SCAB, FIRE BLIGHT RESISTANCE AND DWARF TREES BY THE ISTITUTO SPERIMENTALE PER LA FRUTTICOLTURA
- lack of renewal varieties standard;
- harmful parasites, as psylla (Psylla pyricola Förster and scab (Venturia pirina Bref Aderh.);
- risk of fire blight (Ervinia amylovora Burr. Winslow et al.) introduction in Italy.
To face of this problems, in 1968 and then in 1980, the ISF began a pear breeding program with the purpose to obtain new cultivars with valid agronomic and pomological characteristics, disease and pest resistance, and dwarf trees.
By the program begun in 1968, for psylla and scab resistance, 8239 seedlings have been obtained, of which 7 have interesting pomological characteristics, 2 have a low psylla susceptibility and 5 seedlings have low level of scab sensitivity.
In 1980 was started a breeding program for fire blight resistance and for dwarf habit.
This program is carried out in cooperation among:
- Istituto Sperimentale per la Frutticoltura di Roma (Italy)
- Institut Voor Planterziektenkundig Onderzoek of Wageningen (Holand) for screening for resistance in green-house;
- Dax-Labatut Experimental Farm (France) for field susceptibility testing of the resistant seedlings from Wageningen.
Up to now 1673 seedlings have been obtained and tested in Holland; from this first glasshouse essays, 98 seedlings have not showed symptoms of fire blight, 52 seedlings are dwarf.