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Kubilay Kurtulus Bastas and Fikrettin Sahin

Fire blight is the most destructive bacterial disease of rosaceous plants containing berry fruits. The present study was conducted to determine host resistance among the extensively grown raspberry cultivars (Willamette, Rubin ve Aksu Red, Heritage, and Royalty) and blackberry cultivars (Bursa-1, Bursa-2, Bursa-3, Chester, Loch Ness, and Jumbo) to Erwinia amylovora, which is the causal agent of the fire blight disease. In the greenhouse and field experiments, the plants were inoculated with two virulent strains of E. amylovora to evaluate whether cultivar–strain interactions exist. Disease index (%) and disease severity (%) were determined regarding diseased plant symptoms and classified into four susceptibility groups (HR, MR, S, and HS). Raspberry cultivar Willamette and blackberry cultivar Bursa-1 appeared to be highly susceptible with average 50% disease severity ratings. One of the raspberry cv., Royalty, was moderately resistant with an average 25% disease severity rating. This is the first study determining resistance reactions of native and common blackberry and raspberry varieties against fire blight in Turkey. As the cultivation of berries expands to new regions and larger acreages, a serious outbreak of fire blight may be potentially much more destructive in the future. Therefore, phytosanitary measures are needed to prevent any further spread of the bacterium to new blackberry- and raspberry-growing areas. The study will serve as an initial guide for growers and breeders for their appropriate raspberry and blackberry selections in Turkey.

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Kubilay Kurtulus Bastas, Aysen Akay and Salih Maden

The first outbreak of fire blight incited by Erwinia amylovora (Burr.) Winslow et al. occurred on pome fruits in Turkey in 1985, and it is now one of the most serious diseases of pear, apple, quince, and loquat (Oktem and Benlioglu, 1988). In this study, experiments were conducted in Konya Province to evaluate the efficacy of Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) and bactericides for control of the shoot blight phase of fire blight and control of shoot growth on the different apple cultivars (Gala, Red Elstar, Pinova, Jonagored) on M9 rootstock in 2002 to 2003. Streptomycin provided 84.38% to 95.24% and 85.28% to 89.97% disease control in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Copper complex was not so effective against shoot blight phase of the disease, and it reduced disease by 16.18% to 27.75% and 14.48% to 19.06% in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Results of VAM application were encouraging, indicating a reduction of fire blight by Glomus intraradices of between 9.7% and 50.5% in 2002 and between 23.9% and 48.4% in 2003, respectively.