Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2004
Publication Date: 11/20/2004
Citation: Hummer, K.E., Sabitov, A. 2004. Genetic resistance to currant borer in ribes cultivars [abstract]. Journal of American Pomological Society. 58(4):215-219.
Interpretive Summary: The currant borer clearwing moth is a pest of cultivated black, red, and white currants throughout the world. Larvae of this moth bore into the plant stems, or canes, and cause them to break at the base. Insecticides are the usual control method but environmentally friendly techniques are being researched. We studied 150 black, red and white currants at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository-Corvallis, Oregon (NCGR), and their infestation by currant borer. Canes of the currants were cut during the winter 2003. The worm-like larvae that develop into currant borer insects live inside the canes of currants during the winter. In January 2003, we counted the larvae inside the canes. Some currants had 2 to 3 larvae within one cane. Other canes had none. One particular type of European red currant had no or very few cane borer larvae. Some black currant cultivars from Northern Sweden, Russia, and England had very few larvae. The larvae were not seen in the pink or white flowering currants. Additional studies will examine cane borer incidence in many other types of currants. Use of resistant plants would reduce the need for chemical pesticides in growing currants for fruit production.
Technical Abstract: The larvae of the currant borer (Synanthedon tipuliformis Clerck), a clearwing moth, are pests of cultivated black, red, and white currants (Ribes L.) throughout the world. While broad-spectrum insecticides are the standard control, more environmentally friendly techniques, such as mating disruption using synthetic pheromones, can be successful. Genetic resistance is not extensively reported or employed as a pest control strategy. We screened 150 diverse black (Ribes subgenus: Ribes section: Botrycarpum), red and white currants (Ribes subgenus: Ribes section: Ribes) at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository-Corvallis (NCGR), for natural infestation by currant borer. A total of 65 dormant canes (about 20 cm) were collected from two plants of each cultivar. Canes were cut transversely every 0.5 cm, and dissected longitudinally when needed. In highly infested black currant cultivars, such as R. nigrum L. 'Silvergeters Zwarte,' 'Lissil', and 'Ojebyn', 2 or 3 larvae were frequently observed within one cane. Judging from the pedigrees, we suspect that a European red currant species, R. multiflorum Kit. ex Schult., can contribute cane borer resistance. Red currant hybrid cultivars of R. rubrum with R. multiflorum, Detvan, Mulka, Redstart, Rolan, Rosetta, Rondom, and Rovada, had low larval counts, although a few others such as 'Blanka', were highly infested. The R. nigrum 'Black Naples' derivatives, 'Saunders' and 'Kerry', had low larval counts, although 'Neosypaushayasya' was highly infested. Some black currant cultivars from Northern Sweden, Russia, and England had low counts. Cane borer larvae were not observed in any of the seven pink or white flowering currants, Ribes sanguineum. Infestation levels of eight cultivar checks from different rows within the field were similar. The infestation frequency of the samples described an exponential rather than a normal distribution, which implies either preferential oviposition of the cane borer or genetic resistance in the Ribes. Additional studies will examine cane borer incidence in a broader spectrum of Ribes species. Genetic resistance could provide an additional tool for currant growers in an integrated cane borer management strategy. Breeders could incorporate resistance genotypes into Ribes breeding programs.