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Eastern filbert blight (EFB), caused by the pyrenomycete Anisogramma anomala (Peck) E. Müller, is a devastating disease of European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) in the Pacific Northwest. Host genetic resistance from ‘Gasaway’ has been used extensively for breeding hazelnuts at Oregon State University. Concern over the durability of this single-gene resistance prompted a search for new sources of resistance. In this study, 86 accessions from 11 countries were evaluated for their response to greenhouse inoculation with the pathogen. Nine accessions showed complete resistance, including one from Chile (‘Amarillo Tardio’), two from Serbia (‘Crvenje’ and ‘Uebov’), one from southern Russia (OSU 495.072) and five from Moscow, Russia. These new sources of EFB resistance have geographically diverse origins and will broaden the genetic base of EFB-resistant hazelnut germplasm. The previously reported resistance of ‘Grand Traverse’ from Michigan and the susceptibility of ‘Closca Molla’ from Spain were confirmed.

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Eastern filbert blight (EFB) is a serious fungal disease of european hazelnut (Corylus avellana) in North America. The causal agent is the pyrenomycete Anisogramma anomala, which is native in the eastern United States where it occasionally produces small cankers on the wild american hazelnut (C. americana). However, most commercial cultivars of european hazelnut are susceptible. Infection leads to perennial cankers, girdling of branches, and premature tree death. Cultural practices including scouting, pruning out infected branches, and fungicide applications are recommended to slow disease spread but are expensive and not completely effective. EFB resistance from ‘Gasaway’ is conferred by a dominant allele at a single locus and has been extensively used in the Oregon State University hazelnut breeding program, but there is concern that this resistance could be overcome by isolates now present in the eastern United States or that a new race of the pathogen could arise in Oregon. Segregation for EFB resistance from ‘Uebov’, a new source from Serbia, was studied in three progenies by a combination of structure exposure and greenhouse inoculation. The frequency of resistant seedlings following structure exposure was about 20% in all three progenies. The ratios failed to fit the expected 1:1 ratio but did fit a ratio of 1 resistant:3 susceptible, which would be expected if resistance were conferred by dominant alleles at two independent loci. Seedlings from a cross of susceptible selection OSU 741.105 and ‘Uebov’ were used to study correlation of disease response and presence of alleles at microsatellite marker loci. Resistance was highly correlated with the presence of alleles at marker loci on linkage group 6 (LG6), and these markers also showed segregation distortion. We conclude that EFB resistance from ‘Uebov’ maps to a single locus on LG6 in the same region as resistance from ‘Gasaway’, although only about 20% of the seedlings are resistant because of segregation distortion. ‘Uebov’ has large, well-filled, round nuts and is suitable as a parent in breeding for the in-shell market, but its low nut yields and a high frequency of shells with split sutures are the drawbacks. Its use would expand options for breeding and ‘Uebov’ resistance could be combined with other resistance alleles with an expectation of more durable EFB resistance. Durable resistance would not only sustain the hazelnut industry in Oregon but would also allow expansion of plantings to new areas.

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Eastern filbert blight (EFB), caused by Anisogramma anomala (Peck) E. Müller, is a devastating disease to european hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) orchards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Selection OSU 408.040 showed no symptoms or signs of the fungus following greenhouse inoculations, and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISAs) were negative. Segregation ratios in three progenies indicate that a single dominant gene controls the resistance. A total of 64 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer combinations were screened using three resistant and three susceptible individuals as well as the parents of the cross OSU 245.098 × OSU 408.040. Primer combinations that showed no more than one recombinant in these six seedlings were investigated in 30 additional seedlings. Markers that showed <15% recombination with resistance were amplified in the remaining seedlings of the population. Five AFLP markers linked in coupling to resistance were identified. B2-125 was located on one side of the resistance locus at a distance of 4.1 centimorgans (cM), while A4-265 (9.2 cM), C2-175 (5.9 cM) and D8-350 (2.5 cM) were on the other side, and A8-150 cosegregated with resistance. Three of these markers (B2-125, C2-175, and D8-350) were also linked in coupling in a similar order in seedlings from a second progeny. These markers may be useful in marker-assisted selection for eastern filbert blight resistance from hazelnut selection OSU 408.040.

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