Screening for Aspergillus flavus Resistance in Almond

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  • 1 Departamento de Mejora y Patología Vegetal, CEBAS-CSIC, P.O. Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain
  • 2 Department of Pomology, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616

Aspergillus flavus Link. is a filamentous fungus affecting almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] kernels in the field and during storage. This fungus can produce afla-toxins (carcinogenic and immunosuppressive mycotoxins), which prevent the marketability of almond kernels. Aspergillus flavus resistance has not been an objective in conventional almond breeding programs. Because the importance of this disease is increasing, evaluations of cultivar susceptibility are being performed. In this study, the screening for A. flavus resistance in 40 almond genotypes has been carried out in controlled inoculation conditions at 26 °C. Eighteen days after the inoculation, kernels of all the almond cultivars assayed showed susceptibility to A. flavus. Nevertheless, differences among cultivars in the percentage of kernel surface colonized by the fungus were observed. The Spanish cultivar Ramillette was the least susceptible. Susceptibility was not related to the geographic origin of the cultivar.

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