In the frame of the DARE (Durable Apple Resistance in Europe) project, a collection of strains of Venturia inaequalis was established. It comprises 319 strains from 8 European countries, isolated from 48 different Malus species and M. x domestica cultivars. The pathogenicity of 39 strains from this collection was tested on a set of 8 differential hosts, under controlled conditions (in a growth-chamber). The results provided information on the virulence of the fungus in Europe, with special attention to virulence to the Vf gene. The most virulent strains originated from Northwest Europe. No significant correlation between aggressiveness and the number of cultivars to which a strain was virulent was found. The results also provided information on the susceptibility of the 8 cultivars of the host range, and permitted the selection of 5 representative strains of the fungus for the test of the apple cultivars and progenies in the greenhouse. The geographical distribution of Vf virulent strains is displayed on a map of Europe, including information from previous publications
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