Contributions of scion and rootstock genotypes, and orchard location to apple endophyte community structure, with specific reference to the cultivar canker susceptibility

  • Leone Olivieri (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In the UK, effective control of European apple canker (Neonectria ditissima) is difficult to achieve with the currently available pesticides. Endophytic fungi and bacteria can facilitate or antagonise plant pathogens in a wide range of hosts, representing a promising source of novel biocontrol agents. Similarly, specific apple endophytes harboured by cultivars differing in canker resistance may contribute to the cultivar response to the disease. In this work, we used the meta-barcoding to quantify relative contribution of scion genotype, rootstock genotype and orchard site to the leaf scar endophyte community structure in newly established apple orchards, and to identify specific endophyte groups associated with cultivar susceptibility to N. ditissima. Location was found to be the major driver of endophyte diversity, followed by scion genotype, whereas rootstock genotype had a small effect. A number of fungal and bacterial groups had differential relative abundance between canker resistant (tolerant) and susceptible scion genotypes. The specific fungal groups included fungal antagonists as well as plant pathogens. This study paves the way to the development of innovative approaches based on manipulating endophytes to manage European apple canker.
Period5 Nov 2020
Event title4th International Workshop on European Fruit Tree Canker and Resilient Orchards
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionInternational