A proposal for the nomenclature of venturia inaequalis races

V. Bus, E. Rikkerink, H. S. Aldwinckle, V. Caffier, C. E. Durel, S. Gardiner, C. Gessler, R. Groenwold, F. Laurens, B. Le Cam, J. Luby, B. Meulenbroek, M. Kellerhals, L. Parisi, A. Patocchi, K. Plummer, H. J. Schouten, S. Tartarini, W. E. Van De Weg

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41 Scopus citations


The Venturia inaequalis-Malus pathosystem was one of the first for which gene-for-gene relationships were demonstrated following the discovery of such relationships between Melampsora lini and flax by Flor in the 1950s. An understanding of these relationships forms the basis for monitoring pathotypes of V. inaequalis at the population level and is employed to assess the usefulness of resistance genes for breeding durable resistance to scab. These pathotypes are difficult to accommodate in the current system of nomenclature for V. inaequalis races where each new combination of avirulence alleles is assigned a simple numerical descriptor as its name. We propose a system that is better suited to the increasing complexities of combinations of genes involved in both race-specific and race-nonspecific recognition by the host, while at the same time updating the name of scab resistance loci (Rvik) and QTL loci (Qvik) to international standards. For the race-specific interactions, the basic premise is that each Rvik-AvrRvik and Qvik-AvrQvik relationship should be represented by a differential host (k), abbreviated to h(k), carrying only the specific Rvik or (major) Qvik resistance allele and an isolate of the pathogen having lost only the complementary allele at the AvrRvik or AvrQvik locus, race (k), with k representing the number of the specific interaction. Races lacking more than one avirulence gene at different loci will be identified as race (k,l,m,.) and apple hosts carrying multiple scab resistance genes as host (k,l,m,.). The proposed system has some continuity with the current system, but should simplify the presentation and interpretation of studies on avirulence alleles in V. inaequalis at the population level. Gene-for-gene relationships reported to date for this pathosystem are reviewed, some inconsistencies clarified, and several new interactions added. The gene-for-gene relationships of European isolates collected in the last decade have been studied in order to establish a new set of reference isolates that represent various V. inaequalis races.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-746
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - Mar 20 2009


  • Apple scab
  • Differential interactions
  • Gene-for-gene relationship
  • Hosts
  • Virulence


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