Compiled by Dr Gordon Brown
International apple and pear research update snippets are sourced from abstracts of published scientific papers collated in the CAB direct database. To get the abstract related to any snippet please contact Gordon Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 6239 6411.
Nursery and cultivars
China: Seedlings of Malus micromalus × M9 were assessed for rooting ability; salt and alkaline tolerance; and resistance to Valsa canker – five elite rootstock lines were selected.
Cold region apples
China: To supply market demand nine early apple cultivars were tested in Huashuo, Hongjiangjun, Huayu and Zaohong and found to be suitable for the cold regions of Yunnan.
India: A study of M793 cutting length and thickness has shown that cuttings should be 35cm in length and 1.25 – 1.5cm in thickness (the thickest tested) for optimal root development.
Romania: In the first year after grafting, trees on MM106 rootstocks produce more feathers than trees on M26 rootstocks.
Turkey: GA4+7 was found to be more effective at controlling biennial bearing than ethephon in Golden Delicious trees.
Robot ID apples
China: An accurate robotic identification of apples on a tree using six colour features and seven shape features has been developed.
Apples hurt environment
China: Apple industry growth increased farmers’ incomes, but caused pollution so methods to reduce pollution and increase fertiliser use efficiency need to be adopted.
Turkey: Prohydrojasmon application to Gala and Braeburn apple trees two weeks before harvest improved the fruit red colouration.
China: Mulching apple trees with straw increases the percentage of roots within 20cm of the soil surface.
China: Pot trials have demonstrated toxicity, due to addition of organic manure to the soil as a fertiliser, occurs at lower doses in sandy soils compared to loam soil for pear trees.
India: Some of the 14 of Pseudomonas bacteria from an apple orchard soil were found to produce plant growth hormones, soil phosphate solubilising activity, and antifungal activity.
Czech Republic: For Topaz apple trees, no differences in yield efficiency or cumulative yield were found between slender spindle and modified slender spindle tree training systems.
Albania: Regulated deficit irrigation was found to have no impact on vegetative growth of three-year-old Williams pears although mulching trees had a positive effect.
South Africa: Benzyladenine application to two cultivars of pear had no effect on fruit size however return bloom was significantly improved.
USA: A survey of native bees in apple orchards has identified 128 species of native pollination bees from 28 genera.
Too warm for apples
Spain: Climate change modelling indicates that winter temperatures may become too warm for reliable apple flowering close to the southern end of the French border.
Iran: Kaolin application to apple trees reduces leaf temperature and transpiration and increases the foliar photosynthetic rate as well as reducing fruit sunburn.
Iran: Foliar iron application to Fuji apple trees increased total phenolic content and dry matter content of the fruit.
Turkey: Trials over three years revealed that application of GA3 or GA4+7 reduce fruit russet although GA4+7 increased the incidence of bitter pit. Regalis and ethephon had no effect on either disorder.
Pests and diseases
Leaf blotch control
India: The application of resistance inducing chemicals may provide useful control of Marssonina leaf blotch of apple.
Belgium: A heritage Belgium apple cultivar with stable partial resistance to black spot has been used to identify nine genes associated with partial black spot resistance.
Brown rot cause
Argentina: Phytophthora lacustris and P. drechsleri have been identified as the cause of Brown rots on pear fruit prior to harvest.
USA: Codling moth egg laying preference testing of apples has shown that Golden Delicious, Fuji and Stayman are preferred cultivars while Arlet, Honeycrisp, Pristine, and Sunrise are avoided.
New Zealand: The apple futures system was developed to reduce pesticide residues on fruit and maintain phytosanitary requirements, since the mid 1990s it has reduced insect loading.
Brazil: A new virus found in apple, pear and grapevines has been identified and it is proposed to call it Temperate fruit decay-associated virus.
Genes resist black spot
India: Four races of black spot were isolated from apple orchards and resistant cultivars with the RVi3, RVi6 and RVi13 genes were resistant to all four strains of the fungus.
India: Bio formulation comprising of six botanicals and cow urine have been found to be effective for the management of post-harvest rot in apples.
China: Ninety three per cent of Chinese pears have pesticide residues, some above the MRL, and while not a serious public health problem there is potential for acute exposure of children to bifenthrin.
DPA on pears
India: Post-harvest application of DPA to Punjab Beauty pears reduced weight loss, spoilage, core browning, colour loss, softening and maintained fruit sugars during storage.
France: A portable device is being developed to assist apple growers to manage bitter pit development and to implement sustainable thinning practices.
USA: Pre-harvest Retain at 60mg/L and SmartFresh both extend storage life of Starkrimson pears, however, SmartFresh inhibited ripening capacity whereas Retain did not.
Italy: Ethylene down regulates genes important for fruit adaption to low oxygen environments as well as maintenance of low oxidant levels in the skin allowing for superficial scald development.
Iran: One hundred actinomycetes isolated from apple orchard soils were screened for the control of bitter rot and six were found to have potential for non chemical control of the disease.
USA: Changes in gene expression in apple skins when fruit are placed in CA are being studied to identify the cause of external CO2 injury of the fruit.
China: Dipping pears in Rhodotorula mucilaginosa reduced the loss of pear fruit firmness, inhibited fruit decay and prolonged the storage duration at room temperature.
Early harvest grannies
South Africa: Granny Smith apples harvested seven days before optimal harvest had higher levels of total polyphenolics but lower levels of ascorbic acid and antioxidant capacity.
Portugal: Comparing new methods of drying apples identified infrared drying as an energy efficient process which produces a high quality product.