Ten Years of VINQUEST: First Insight for Breeding New Apple Cultivars with Durable Apple Scab Resistance
Apple scab, caused by Venturia inaequalis, is a major fungal disease worldwide. Cultivation of scab-resistant cultivars would reduce the chemical footprint of apple production. However, new apple cultivars carrying durable resistances should be developed to prevent or at least slow the breakdown of resistance against races of V. inaequalis. One way to achieve durable resistance is to pyramid multiple scab resistance genes in a cultivar. The choice of the resistance genes to be combined in the pyramids should take into account the frequency of resistance breakdown and the geographical distribution of apple scab isolates able to cause such breakdowns. In order to acquire this information and to make it available to apple breeders, the VINQUEST project (www.vinquest.ch) was initiated in 2009. Ten years after launching this project, 24 partners from 14 countries regularly contribute data. From 2009 to 2018, nearly 9,000 data points have been collected. This information has been used to identify the most promising apple scab resistance genes for developing cultivars with durable resistance, which to date are: Rvi5, Rvi11, Rvi12, Rvi14, and Rvi15. As expected, Rvi1, together with Rvi3 and Rvi8, were often overcome, and have little value for scab resistance breeding. Rvi10 may also belong to this group. On the other hand, Rvi2, Rvi4, Rvi6, Rvi7, Rvi9, and Rvi13 are still useful for breeding, but their use is recommended only in extended pyramids of $3 resistance genes.