From: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Published November 14, 2017 02:43 PM

Disease-Resistant Apples Perform Better Than Old Favorites

You may not find them in the produce aisle yet, but it’s only a matter of time before new disease-resistant apple cultivars overtake favorites like Honeycrisp in popularity, according to a University of Illinois apple expert.

“I know everyone wants Honeycrisp, but they’re notoriously hard to grow. There are so many issues in producing the fruit: the tree might produce a lot one year, but none the next; the fruit doesn’t keep well and is susceptible to disease,” says Mosbah Kushad, an associate professor of horticulture in the Department of Crop Sciences and horticulture Extension specialist at U of I.

Apples are attacked by all sorts of pests, but apple scab, a fungus, is particularly nasty. It can cause yield losses up to 80 percent. For traditional apple cultivars and many newer ones, including Honeycrisp, combating apple scab and other diseases means applying multiple pesticides several times throughout the growing season.  

Fortunately, after the gene for scab resistance was discovered by a U of I scientist in 1944, a number of resistant cultivars have been developed. Kushad says the early cultivars weren’t particularly good, but more recent ones show a lot of promise.

Read more at University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Image: New disease-resistant apples appear to perform better than some old favorites. (Credit: David Riecks, University of Illinois)

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

2017©. Copyright Environmental News Network