Establishment of Nuclear Stock Collections for Apple and Pear in Latvia

Neda Zuļģe 1 , Anna Kāle 1 , Alina Gospodaryk 2 , 3 , Kristīne Vēvere 1  and Inga Moročko-Bičevska 1
  • 1 Institute of Horticulture, Latvia University of Agriculture, Graudu iela 1, Ceriņi, Krimūnu pagasts, Dobeles novads, LV-3701, , Latvia
  • 2 Institute of Horticulture, Latvia University of Agriculture, Graudu iela 1, Ceriņi, Krimūnu pagasts, Dobeles novads, LV-3701, , Latvia
  • 3 Educational and Scientific Centre, Institute of Biology and Medicine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 64 Volodymyrska Street, , Kiev, Ukraine


Apples and pears are among the most important commercial fruit species grown in Latvia. Because of suitability to local climatic conditions, mainly domestic cultivars and cultivars originating in neighbouring countries are grown. The planting material of pome fruits produced and used for establishment of new orchards in Latvia corresponds to the Conformitas Agraria Communitatis standard due to the unavailability of nuclear stock. To establish virus-tested, experimental nuclear stock for apple and pear, one to two years old candidate plants were exposed to thermotherapy at +38 °C for 40 to 70 days. The mother trees and candidate plants before treatment were tested for the presence of the four most widespread pome fruit viruses by RT-PCR. The shoot tips of the heat-treated plants were grafted onto seedling rootstocks and were re-tested for the four viruses by RT-PCR during the next three to five vegetation seasons. Several plants of apple cultivars ‘Dace’, ‘Zarja Alatau’, ‘Rubin’, and ‘Ausma’ remained infected either with Apple chlorotic leaf spot virus, Apple stem growing virus or Apple stem pitting virus after the thermotherapy. Tests on woody indicators were carried out to determine possible presence of graft-transmittable organisms according to EPPO guidelines for the establishment of nuclear stock material for pome fruits.

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