The apple scab (Venturia inaequalis-Malus) pathosystem was one of the first systems for which Flor's concept of gene-for-gene (GfG) relationships between the host plant and the pathogen was demonstrated. There is a rich resource of host resistance genes present in Malus germplasm that could potentially be marshalled to confer durable resistance against this most important apple disease. A comprehensive understanding of the host-pathogen interactions occurring in this pathosystem is a prerequisite for effectively manipulating these host resistance factors. An accurate means of identification of specific resistance and consistent use of gene nomenclature is critical for this process. A set of universally available, differentially resistant hosts is described, which will be followed by a set of defined pathogen races at a later stage. We review pertinent aspects of the history of apple scab research, describe the current status and future directions of this research, and resolve some outstanding issues.
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