Apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a pest of major concern to apple, Malus × domestica (Borkh.) production in eastern North America. Host plant resistance to apple maggot among apple germplasm has been previously evaluated among a small number of exotic Malus accessions and domestic hybrid selections. However, a large number of exotic accessions housed in USDA collections have never been evaluated for their susceptibility to apple pests. Additionally, previous reports of resistance need to be confirmed under both field conditions and with more rigorous laboratory evaluations. Thus, studies were conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of a number of Malus accessions housed at the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Unit “core” collection. Contrary to earlier published reports, these results suggest that some selections previously described as “resistant” are in fact susceptible to both oviposition damage and larval feeding damage by apple maggot. One domestic, disease-resistant apple accession, ‘E36-7′ is resistant to survival of apple maggot larvae except when the fruit is nearly ripe in late fall. This is the first report of an apple cultivar that is confirmed to be resistant to larval feeding of apple maggot. Although adults can successfully oviposit on all accessions examined, larval survival was zero in a number of small-fruited crabapple accessions classified as resistant in previous studies and also in two accessions, Malus tschonoskii (Maxim) C. K. Schneid. and M. spectabilis (Aiton) Borkh., that have not been previously evaluated.
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Vol. 101 • No. 1