Fire blight in Turkey: 1985-1992.
Fire blight was detected for the first time in Turkey in 1985. It is suggested from the pattern of spread of fire blight since 1982 in the Middle East, the Balkans and Mediterranean area that the infections in Turkey may be part of an expanding epidemic originating in Egypt. Diagnostic and pathogenicity tests were performed with 2 isolates of bacteria from blighted pear trees in Turkey and isolates were compared with known isolates of Erwinia amylovora. Based on these tests, the Turkish isolates were positively identified as E. amylovora. In Turkey, fire blight was common on pear, quince and Pyrus syriaca. Low incidence of fire blight was found on apple and Eriobotrya japonica. In 1987, fire blight appeared in almost all pear growing areas of Turkey and was severe in most locations. Reaction of some cultivars to fire blight were determined. Within the commercial pear cultivars, Ankara was the most resistant and Santa Maria the most susceptible. A mixture of copper oxychloride and maneb gave satisfactory disease control of fire blight of pears, especially for blossom infections. Fire blight of pomaceous trees was widely spread in Turkey. The disease has affected mainly pear and quince. In the screening program of pomaceous trees in Turkey, it is suggested that fire blight resistant lines should be selected immediately. This paper was presented at the Sixth International Workshop on Fire Blight, held in Athens, Greece, 20-23 Oct. 1992.