Field Testing Peach Rootstocks for Resistance to Armillaria Root Rot

in HortScience
Authors: T.G. Beckman1 and P.L. Pusey2
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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
  • | 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Armillaria root rot is the second leading cause of peach tree mortality (after peach tree short life) in the southeastern United States. Currently, there are no commercially available rootstocks for peach with proven resistance to this pathogen in the United States. Since 1983, we have been screening rootstock candidates for resistance to Armillaria utilizing naturally infected field sites. Inoculation of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], plum (P. cerasifera J.F. Ehrh., P. munsoniana F.W. Wight & Hedr., P. salicina Lindl. or P. angustifolia Marsh.) × peach and plum × plum hybrid rootstocks with infected plant tissue (such as acorns, Quercus sp.) prior to planting has provided a significantly increased infection and mortality of candidate rootstock lines in comparison with sole reliance on natural inoculum on an infested site.

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