Best combiners during 40 years of breeding <i>Vitis</i> cuitivars resistant to Pierce's disease


  • J. A. Mortensen
  • L. H. Stover



Pierce's disease, bacterium, Vitis, variety of vine, germplasm, resistance, breeding, inbreeding, parents, Florida, USA


By breeding for resistance to Pierce's disease in Vitis we have obtained useful cultivars that can be grown productively in areas formerly considered unsuitable for grape production. Reviewing the most successful recombinants from crosses made between 1945 and 1984, 6 Vitis clones were prominent foundation parents among those tested as primitive resistant germplasm: V. aestivalis, ssp. smalliana cvs Fla. 43-47 and Fla. 449, V. aestivalis ssp. simpsoni cvs Pixiola and Fla. 451, and V. shuttleworthii cvs Haines City and Kissimmee. The best combiners for productivity, fruit size, and high quality were PD susceptible cultivars Aurelia, Carolina Blackrose, Cardinal, Exotic, Golden Muscat, and Villard blanc. The best combiners for seedlessness and early ripening were susceptible cultivars Lakemont and Perlette. Selection for resistance to PD required 7 or more years each generation for exposure of seedlings to PD-carrying vectors. Inbreeding was detrimental to vine vigor but good combiners were selected among inbred progeny which were more homozygous for disease resistance. Subsequent crosses of these inbreds to large-fruited, high-quality cultivars resulted in some recombinants with restored vigor and superior traits such as Blanc Du Bois.






Section 3: Resistance/tolerance to pests and diseases