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 COST 1104

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Copyright inra © 2012. Publication director: José QUERO-GARCIA       Development of the site and Graphic design:JL RENOUX

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Skierniewice 28/10/2013

20.10.2013: WG 1: Methodology of Cherry Gene Resources Management in Ex Situ Collections, accounting problem of viruses

This meeting was organized by dr Elżbieta Rozpara at the Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, Poland, from 27-29 October 2013, in the frame of an International Conference entitled: “Using Genetic Biodiversity to Increase the Quality of Organically Grown Fruits” (see conference program and Book of Abstracts).

The COST FA 1104 WG 1 Meeting took place on the 28 October 2013. During this Meeting Dr Beata Komorowska – the invited speaker from the Department of Plant Protection (Lab. Virology) in the Research Institute of Horticulture, gave the lecture titled “Survey of Viruses in Cherry Cultivar Collection in Skierniewice” (.PDF). After this lecture the participants discussed about methods of prevention of virus diseases spread in Collections ex situ. The topics covered by this meeting were problems with virus diseases in collections.

Summary of the Discussion

Virus-free certification of stone fruit trees is essential both for maintenance of disease-free germplasm collections that serve as repositories of material for genetic improvement, and for source plants destined for large-scale in vitro propagation. To ensure that germplasm conserved is free of pests, particularly viruses, a systematic approach should be taken to assess the health status of every accession in the genebank and produce clean planting materials for conservation. The discussion concerned the following issues. Which viruses should be selected for mandatory screening, and what would be the basis for selection? How reliable are virus indexing procedures available currently and what are the problems and questions that remain to be resolved? Knowledge on viruses infecting plants and the means for their detection and production of clean planting material have improved dramatically over the past two decades. However, viral pathogens are still difficult to detect and pose challenges to “clean” (pest-free) planting material production procedures because of their latent infections. The next issue concerned the methods of therapy which should be applied for recovering the infected plants in germplasm collection. For clonally propagated crops, production of clean planting material involves in vitro procedures using meristem culture. Additionally, the infected plants might be subjected to thermotherapy prior to meristem excision and in vitro propagation. The main problem presents genetic and phenotypic instability of plants derived from meristem culture. Plants possess genes that offer natural resistance to pests and diseases and resilience to abiotic stresses, such as drought tolerance, soil erosion, and other constraints. Meristem culture technique carries the risk that some features of cultivar might be lost during multiplication process.

In this Meeting, among the other persons, actively participated 6 scientists from COST FA 1104:

Daniela Benedikova – from Slovakia

Nikita Fait – from Slovenia

Daine Feldmane – from Latvia

Monika Höfer – from Germany

Dragan Milatović – from Serbia

Franco Weibel – from Switzerland