ECPGR Malus/Pyrus Working Group

Chair: Marc Lateur

Working Group activities and related events

December 2016
The project on "Common ECPGR protocols and tools available for Characterization & Evaluation of Malus/Pyrus genetic resources (Pomefruit C&E)", submitted by the Malus/Pyrus Working Group for funding under the Fourth Call of the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme, was selected by the Executive Committee. [more info]

December 2014
The project on “ Building and promoting a European Pyrus collection – A case study (ECoHisPy - European Collection of Historical Pyrus)" (101 KB), submitted by the Malus/Pyrus Working Group for funding under the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme, was selected by the Executive Committee. [more info]

Past events

March 2012

An ad hoc meeting on fruit synonyms was held on 5 March 2012 in Weggis, Switzerland followed by a meeting on descriptors (6 March) and by the fourth meeting of the ECPGR Malus/Pyrus Working Group, 6-9 March 2012  [link to ECPGR archive]

Background information

During an ECPGR ad hoc workshop on Malus germplasm, held in June 1995 at Wye College, University of London, UK, European country delegates expressed concern that genetic uniformity prevailing in commercial apple production was a threat to the apple industry in Europe. The ability of commercial European production to survive future external fluctuations was thought to be dependent on the availability of a broad genetic base.

In order to harmonize and rationalize the European collections of Malus and Pyrus, and therefore optimize European capital and labour resource utilization, a number of recommendations were made, including the proposal to establish an ECPGR Working Group on Malus/Pyrus with the following tasks:

  • Definition of a minimum set of standardized characterization descriptors
  • Characterization of all European Malus and Pyrus collections
  • Inclusion of characterization data into a central European database for Malus and for Pyrus
  • Definition of additional standardized evaluation descriptors
  • Definition of standard methodologies for evaluation
  • Development and implementation of a comprehensive European Malus and Pyrus conservation strategy, taking in consideration:
          - A classification system of what is unique, rare, at risk, etc.
          - National requirements, for example, UPOV responsibilities
          - Ensurance of evolutionary adaptation to local conditions to continue provision of new variations of diversity
  • Development of a European strategy for collecting germplasm, in particular from regions within Europe where unevaluated wild Malus and Pyrus populations are known to exist
  • Consideration of multilateral agreements for access to and exchange of germplasm.

The ECPGR Steering Committee formalized the establishment of a Working Group on Malus/Pyrus in September 1995 and the Group met for the first time in Dublin, Ireland in May 1997.