Screening for Resistance to Plum Pox Virus in Some Local Turkish Apricot Cultivars and Their Crosses by Molecular Markers
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Turkey is the most important producer and exporter country of apricot, Prunus armeniaca. Production of apricots for fresh market relies on foreign cultivars grown on Mediterranean and Aegean regions while Malatya is the most important region for production of dry apricots based on local cultivars. Plum pox virus (PPV) in Turkey has been known since 1968, but it was not widespread until recent years. Malatya region has been free of sharka disease so far, but the disease has already been reported from many different provinces since 2006. Because of that, introgression of resistance to PPV in the local cultivars with good pomological characteristics became an important objective for the apricot crop. In the current breeding program, obtaining new cultivars resistant to PPV, selection of resistant seedlings by using molecular markers linked to PPV resistance was aimed at. Nineteen local apricot genitors and progenies obtained from the crosses between the PPV resistant cultivar 'Stark Early Orange' (SEO), 'Harcot' and local cultivars such as 'Hacihaliloglu', 'Kabaasi', 'Hasanbey', 'Cologlu', 'Adilcevaz5', 'Sekerpare', 'MahmudunErigi', 'Soganci' and 'Cataloglu' were screened with markers. The markers PGS1.21 and PGS2.23 co-segregating with resistance to PPV were used to screen a total of 189 apricot progenies. None of the local genitors had alleles linked to PPV resistance. Among the progenies screened, 15 seedlings from 'Sekerpare' by SEO, 12 from 'Adilcevaz5' by SEO, 7 from 'Hacihaliloglu' by SEO, 9 from 'Kabaasi' by SEO, 5 from 'Cologlu' by SEO, 9 from 'Cataloglu' by SEO, 4 from 'Hasanbey' by SEO, and 1 from 'MahmudunErigi' by SEO and none of the 'Harcot' by 'Soganci' presented resistant alleles and were selected for further studies.