|Authors: ||M. Botu, G. Achim, A. Scutelnicu, D. Chira, I. Manthos, A. Stancu|
|Keywords: ||Castanea spp., interspecific hybrids, selection, breeding|
Present study has the aim to promote interspecific chestnut selections that can be grown in Romania.
Previous selection work into the local sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) populations has been carried out by SCDP Vālcea since 1992. As a result, two sweet chestnut cultivars ('Romval' and 'Casval') have been named.
Most of the sweet chestnut orchards have been severely affected due to Cryphonectria parasitica pathogen attack.
An interspecific breeding program has been launched in order to obtain resistant genotypes.
The initial plant material consisted of cultivars and selections of different origins belonging to Castanea sativa Mill., Castanea mollissima Blume, Castanea crenata × C. sativa and C. sativa × C. crenata hybrids.
New hybrids have been obtained and were planted in the selection field.
Evaluation of those hybrids has been carried out regarding adaptability to given ecological conditions, precocity of coming into bearing fruits, productivity, ripening period, fruit quality and tolerance/resistance to main diseases, including chestnut blight.
A number of 14 elites have been selected during 3 years.
Average fruit size varies from 8.37 (H1-1-04) to 18.97 g (H3-1-04). Also, large fruits were recorded in H2-10-04, H12-9-08, H3-28-04 and H3-45-04. Three of the elites have transverse broad ellipsoidal fruits, eight transversal ellipsoids, while three have globose shaped fruits (H2-10-04, H3-8-04 and H3-35-04). All the elites have reddish brown colored fruits and proved to have mono-embryonic fruits.
Scions from these elites were harvested and grafted on interspecific seedlings in order to introduce them in testing trial for further evaluation.
Fruit quality evaluations for these selections need to be completed in the near future.
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