‘Silistrenska ranna’ – Bulgarian local cultivar in apricot breeding

ISHS Secretariat
‘Silistrenska ranna’ – Bulgarian local cultivar in apricot breeding

Plum pox virus (PPV) is a major limiting factor for successful production of stone fruits such as plum, apricot and peach. Therefore, in many breeding programs the resistance of new cultivars to PPV is one of the main objectives. Apricots are among the most desired fruits for Bulgarian consumers. The latest active breeding program in the country started in 2008. Resistant apricot cultivars are used as sources of resistance to PPV. The local resources enrich the gene pool by adding a high level of adaptability to the environmental factors. The combination of such cultivars gives the chance to consolidate these valuable characteristics in the hybrid progeny. In our study, the apricot cultivar ‘Lito’ was used as a mother plant because it is characterized by resistance to PPV and high-quality fruit. ‘Silistrenska ranna’, an old Bulgarian apricot cultivar native to the Silistra region, was used a pollinator. It is well adapted to the environmental factors of the region, produces regular yields and shows low susceptibility to blossom blight disease (Monilinia laxa). The fruit of ‘Silistrenska ranna’ are not very attractive for consumers because of high competition on the markets and numerous competing cultivars, but they are suitable for canning. In a previous project (MARS 7 FP - Collaborative project nr. 613654), the obtained hybrid family was genotyped for PPV resistance. Therefore, at a very early stage of the breeding process, information was obtained about which hybrids inherited PPV resistance from ‘Lito’. Fruit quality attributes are inherited from the pollinizer, ‘Silistrenska ranna’, in the progeny as well as from the mother plant. Therefore, some of the progeny combined the resistance to PPV of ‘Lito’ and the low susceptibility to blossom blight of ‘Silistrenska ranna’. The comprehensive population survey and thorough hybridological analyses make it possible to identify the genetic potential of the used cultivars and will assist in the choice of parental combinations in future breeding schemes.

Marieta Nesheva is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Valentina Bozhkova. She won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the III International Symposium on Horticultural Crop Wild Relatives in Bulgaria in October 2018.

Marieta Nesheva, Fruit Growing Institute – Plovdiv, Str. Ostromila 12, 4004 Plovdiv, Bulgaria, e-mail: marieta.nesheva@abv.bg

Young Minds Award Winners