Evaluation of scab and mildew resistance in the gene bank collection of apples in Dresden-Pillnitz
A set of 680 apple cultivars from the Fruit Gene bank in Dresden Pillnitz was evaluated for the incidence of powdery mildew and scab in two consecutive years. The incidence of both scab and powdery mildew increased significantly in the second year. Sixty and 43 cultivars with very low incidence in both years of scab and powdery mildew, respectively, were analysed with molecular markers linked to known resistance genes. Thirty-five cultivars were identified to express al-leles or combinations of alleles linked to Rvi2, Rvi4, Rvi6, Rvi13, Rvi14, or Rvi17. Twenty of them, modern as well as a few traditional cultivars known before the introduction or Rvi6 from Malus floribunda 821, amplified the 159 bp fragment of marker CH_Vf1 that is linked to Rvi6. Alleles linked to Pl1, Pld, or Plm were expressed from five cultivars resistant to powdery mildew. Eleven cultivars were identified to have very low susceptibility to both powdery mildew and scab. The information on resistance/susceptibility of fruit genetic resources towards economically important diseases is important for breeding and for replanting traditional cultivars. Furthermore, our work provides a well-defined basis for the discovery of undescribed, new scab, and powdery mildew resistance.