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P. Martínez-Gómez, M. Rubio, and F. Dicenta

The resistance to a Dideron isolate of Plum pox virus, which causes sharka disease, of four apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) cultivars from North America (`Harlayne', `Henderson', `Sunglo', and `Veecot') and a Greek cultivar Lito (a cross of American cultivar Stark Early Orange × Greek cultivar Precoce Tirynthos) was evaluated. `Stark Early Orange' and `Canino', previously rated as resistant and susceptible respectively, were included as controls. Resistance, herein, was defined as inability to infect plants by graft-inoculation and negative assays by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cultivars found to be resistant were: `Harlayne', `Henderson', `Sunglo', `Lito', and `Stark Early Orange'. Cultivars Veecot and Canino were susceptible.

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P. Martínez-Gómez, M. Rubio, F. Dicenta, and T.M. Gradziel

Sharka [(plum pox virus (PPV)] mainly affects Prunus species, including apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.), peach (Prunus persica L.), plum (Prunus salicina Lindl., Prunus domestica L.), and, to a lesser degree, sweet (Prunus avium L.) and sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). Level of resistance to a Dideron isolate of PPV in seven California almond [P. dulcis (Miller) D.A. Webb], five processing peach cultivars, and two peach rootstocks was evaluated. In addition, almond and peach selections resulting from interspecific almond × peach hybridization and subsequent gene introgression were tested. Evaluations were conducted in controlled facilities after grafting the test genotypes onto inoculated GF305 peach rootstocks. Leaves were evaluated for PPV symptoms during three consecutive cycles of growth. ELISA-DASI and RT-PCR analysis were also employed to verify the presence or absence of PPV. Peach cultivars and rootstocks showed sharka symptoms and were ELISA-DASI or RT-PCR positive for some growth cycles, indicating their susceptibility to PPV. Almond cultivars and almond × peach hybrids did not show symptoms and were ELISA-DASI and RT-PCR negative, demonstrating resistance to PPV. Two (almond × peach) F2 selections as well as two of three backcrossed peach selections also showed a resistant behavior against the PPV-D isolate. Results demonstrate a high level of resistance in almond and indicate potential for PPV resistance transfer to commercial peach cultivars.

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Àngel Fernández i Martí, José M. Alonso, María T. Espiau, María J. Rubio-Cabetas, and Rafel Socias i Company

Genetic diversity of the Spanish national almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) collection was characterized with 19 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers selected because of their polymorphism in almond and other Prunus L. species. A total of 93 almond genotypes, including 63 Spanish cultivars from different growing regions, as well as some international cultivars and breeding releases were analyzed. All primers produced a successful amplification, giving a total of 323 fragments in the genotypes studied, with an average of 17 alleles per SSR, ranging from 4 (EPDCU5100) to 33 (BPPCT038). Allele size ranged from 88 bp at locus PMS40 to 260 bp at locus CPPCT022. The heterozygosity observed (0.72) was much higher not only than in other Prunus species, but also than in other almond pools already studied. The dendrogram generated using the variability observed classified most of the genotypes according to their geographical origin, confirming the particular evolution of different almond ecotypes. The SSR markers have consequently shown their usefulness for cultivar identification in almond, for establishing the genetic closeness among its cultivars, and for establishing genealogical relationships.