Relative Susceptibility of Peach and Plum Germplasm to Armillaria Root Rot

in HortScience
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Road, Byron, GA 31008

Nearly 5000 seedling trees representing more than 100 peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] and plum (Prunus spp.) lines were planted at a 4 × 0.6-m spacing in Jan. 1983, on a site with a known history of peach tree short life (PTSL) and Armillaria root rot (ARR). Trees were arranged in a randomized complete-block with eight replicates of six trees each. Beginning in Spring 1984 and each year thereafter the cause of tree death was determined. At the end of 9 years, 50% of the trees had succumbed to PTSL and 35% had been killed by ARR apparently caused by Armillaria tabescens. Analysis of the data for trees killed by ARR showed a wide range in mortality, some peach lines appeared significantly more tolerant to ARR than others. Plum lines derived from native North American species also appeared to be a potential source of improved tolerance. We did not establish whether ARR tolerance is affected by PTSL.

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Contributor Notes

Current address: USDA—ARS, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801.
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