Growth Response to Orchard Replant Disorders in Some New Malus Rootstocks

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  • 1 Dept. of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853-0327

Orchard replant disorder (ORD) is a widespread soilborne disease complex that causes stunting and poor establishment of replanted fruit trees. Chemical and cultural control of ORD provide effective, but short-term, control. More-sustainable strategies would involve ORD-resistant rootstocks not yet identified in apple. We tested `Bemali', G11, G13, G30, G65, G189, G210, and G707 clones from the apple rootstock breeding program at Geneva, N.Y., for their response to ORD in a composite soil collected from New York orchards with known replant problems. Clones were tested in the greenhouse in steam-pasteurized (PS), or naturally infested field soils (FS) with about 900 Pratylenchus penetrans and 150 Xiphinema americanum per pot. Plant dry mass, height, root necrosis, and nematode populations were determined after 60 days under optimal growing conditions. Stunting, reduced plant dry mass, and root necrosis were more severe in FS than in PS for most of the clones (P ≤ 5%), but G30 and G210 were substantially more tolerant to replant disorder than smaller ones, but this toleratnce might not be sustained in fields with greater or more prolonged nematode infestations. There is sufficient variation in apple rootstock resistance or tolerance to ORD to suggest that genetic resistance may be identified and developed for better management of orchard replant problems.

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