Berries germplasm and breeding programs: pest and disease management while selecting
Abstract: In berries breeding programs and berries germplasm proper management of pests and diseases is a priority and represents a constant key process during progenies development and selection. The constant field monitoring for pests and diseases is a priority, with particular regard to fungi, viruses and insects like Drosophila suzukii in order to find potential sources of resistance but also to isolate sources of infection or damage. The impact of pests and diseases is highly variable when different crops are present at the same time and in the same fields, and it is necessary to deal with different developmental stages of the plants from seed to postharvest. Even within the germplasm collection – due to the high diversity present – the different genotypes have to be carefully monitored and they represent a valuable source of traits in particular when phenotyped for tolerance or resistance to specific pests and diseases. Field based phenotyping for quality, and resistance together with the application of genomic tools, offer valuable analytical methods in berries breeding and germplasm characterization. The results of these phases that are applied to germplasm and breeding at Fondazione Edmund Mach are here reported.