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- Author or Editor: C. Reed Funk x
Anisogramma anomala (Peck) E. Müller is the causal agent of the disease eastern filbert blight (EFB) of hazelnuts (Corylus spp.). Little is known of its genetic diversity and pathogenic variation. Most sources of host resistance have been identified in the Pacific Northwest, a region outside the native range of A. anomala believed to have limited diversity of the fungus due to a long history of quarantine and its relatively recent inadvertent introduction. In an attempt to investigate the pathogenic variation of A. anomala, 12 hazelnut genotypes that showed complete resistance in Oregon were inoculated with 12 isolates collected from across its native range. At the conclusion of the study, ‘Grand Traverse,’ ‘Ratoli’, OSU 541.147, OSU 495.072, and OSU 526.041 remained free of disease. ‘Closca Molla’, OSU 759.007, and OSU 587.044 were infected by most isolates. ‘Gasaway’ was infected by the Michigan isolate, which was also the only one to infect its offspring ‘Zimmerman’, although the lesion lacked sporulating stromata. Interestingly, ‘VR20–11’, another offspring of ‘Gasaway’, was infected by isolates from New Jersey, Minnesota, and Michigan. The Michigan isolate also caused the only signs of infection on OSU 408.040.
Central Asia is a center of diversity for many important fruit and nut tree species, including wild and cultivated apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.). A wealth of apricot germplasm that expresses novel and valuable characteristics such as fruits with high soluble solids, edible kernels, glabrous skin, and diverse colors and flavors, as well as later-blooming flowers, late-maturing fruit, and drought, cold, and salt tolerance, can be found growing across this region. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has become more accessible for reciprocal germplasm exchange and scientific collaborations. Thus, opportunities now exist to obtain, study, and use a much wider diversity of Central Asian apricot germplasm in breeding efforts, which can lead to improved crop traits and ultimately an expansion of the regions where this high-value crop can be grown. To bring attention to the valuable P. armeniaca genetic resources found in Central Asia and to promote its better use, management, and preservation, a description and history of the species from a Central Asian perspective, along with recent and ongoing activities, are discussed in this article.
Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb. is grown as an economically valuable crop in a number of countries worldwide, but large-scale cultivation has been primarily restricted to semiarid and arid regions with mild, temperate climates. Considering the species’ wide native range and inherent genetic, morphologic, and phenologic diversity, almond remains quite underused in areas outside those currently in cultivation. The area comprising the former USSR represents an extremely large and diverse region and is a center of genetic diversity for P. dulcis and related species. Much of this region, which is the center of origin and/or diversity of many important crops, has been inaccessible to the Western world for centuries, and much of the scientific literature produced there has not been widely disseminated in the English language. Since the breakup of the USSR, this region has become increasingly open and opportunities for reciprocal germplasm collection, exchange, and scientific collaborations are growing. To bring increased attention to the valuable P. dulcis genetic resources endemic to this region, and to promote better use, management, and preservation of these important resources, the wild distribution of almond and closely related species, and extensive germplasm holdings of institutions across the former USSR, are herein described. Recent and ongoing collection and breeding activities in the U.S. Intermountain West are also discussed.