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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Small Fruit Crops Breeding in the Pacific Northwest

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop processing red raspberry cultivars that are adapted to the PNW that are machine harvestable. Additional traits to incorporate into new cultivars are RBDV resistance and root rot tolerance. To develop strawberry cultivars that are adapted to the PNW and that have higher picking efficiency than current industry standards. Additional traits to incorporate into new cultivars are: fruit firmness and disease resistance.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The principle breeding system used in the raspberry program will be recurrent mass selection in which the best individuals of each generation are intercrossed to form the next generation for selection. A recurrent mass selection system will be followed; the best individuals selected in each generation will be intercrossed to produce the next generation. Additional cultivars and selections from other programs will be added to the breeding population at any stage.


3.Progress Report

This project will develop new red raspberry cultivars adapted to the PNW that are machine harvestable and suitable for processing. Important traits like resistance to raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) and tolerance to root rot are also being pursued for new raspberry cultivars. Once raspberry seedlings are selected, they are then planted in small plots with a cooperating grower and evaluated for machine harvestability. Selections that appear to machine harvest well are tested for yield, fruit size, and fruit firmness in replicated trials at WSU Puyallup, and also evaluated for susceptibility to root rot and raspberry bushy dwarf virus. Selections possessing several promising traits are propagated into quantities suitable for grower trials. In 2011, a new machine harvesting planting was established with 80 WSU selections, 16 BC selections, three cultivars and a plot of black raspberry. This planting will be machine harvested and evaluated in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the 2008 planting will be evaluated (because of cool weather, evaluations are just starting) for the second season in 2011. The planting established in 2009 will be evaluated for the season in 2011. Promising selections in each planting will be identified. Among the 9,300 raspberry seedlings evaluated at WSU Puyallup in 2011, 37 preliminary selections have been made, with more anticipated. Additionally, selections will be made among 2,100 seedlings planted with a cooperating grower. These selections will be based on machine harvesting performance. Additional observations of root rot and RBDV susceptibility among advanced selections have led to the identification of some selections that are machine harvestable, root rot tolerant and RBDV resistant. Virus-negative plants of a promising yellow-fruited raspberry selection were planted in replicated plots at Puyallup in 2007. It has performed well and was released as ‘Cascade Gold’ in 2010.The project will also develop new strawberry cultivars adapted to the PNW and that have higher picking efficiency than current industry standards. Additional aims for new strawberry cultivars are fruit firmness and disease resistance. Ongoing strawberry breeding work is focusing on parents with large fruit size, firm fruit and high productivity. Thirty-four selections were made in 2011 among the 3,900 seedlings planted in 2010. These selections will be propagated for planting in yield plots in 2012. Plants of a very large, late season, productive selection with excellent flavor were propagated via tissue culture and were planted with six cooperating growers in Oregon and Washington in 2009. Evaluations of the selection were positive. Dormant plants were also planted for testing in 2010. This selection was released as ‘Puget Crimson’ in 2010.

Methods of project monitoring included meetings, e-mail, and phone calls.


Last Modified: 11/1/2014
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