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Switzerland: Alant - old apple variety resistant to blight

A hitherto virtually unknown apple variety from Gondiswil in Switzerland has aroused the interest of researchers thanks to its robustness against the plant disease blight. Commissioned by the Fructus association, experts from the research institution 'Agroscope' investigated the properties of old Swiss apple varieties, where they came across the Alant breed. The good properties of Alant raise expectations for a future as a prime cooking apple and as valuable variety for apple cultivation.

Besides looking at the inner and outer qualities of the fruit, the Agroscope experts also looked at the tree properties and the susceptibility of the varieties to diseases like scab, mildew and blight. The Alant stood out for the researchers. While other varieties showed a lot of signs of disease within a short period of time after being infected with blight, the Alant proved extremely robust against this bacterial disease.

The name Alant caused confusion for a short period of time, because in trade literature, there is a description of an old northern German variety called 'Alantapfel'. After molecular-genetic studies and comparing fruit samples it turned out that we are dealing with two different apple varieties.

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