CRANBERRY GENETIC IMPROVEMENT AND INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT
Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Project Number: 3655-21220-001-00
Start Date: Jun 01, 2010
End Date: May 31, 2015
Objective 1. Initiate an integrated cranberry genetics and genetic improvement plan to develop enhanced germplasm and superior new cultivars of cranberry adapted for a short growing season climate with superior productivity, increased disease resistance, enhanced nutritional characteristics, improved environmental adaptation (especially cold tolerance), and more uniform ripening with excellent berry color. Evaluate field performance and quality under current commercial conditions as well as under enhanced production systems utilizing new IPM and water management technologies.
Objective 2. Initiate an innovative and integrated research program to characterize current insect pest damage of the cranberry crops, develop efficacious and economical insect Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies for cranberry production systems, and respond to emerging insect pests. Evaluate field performance under current commercial conditions as well as under enhanced production systems utilizing new cranberry varieties and new water management technologies.
For Objective 1, novel phenotypic variation will be identified, genetically characterized, mapped on the cranberry genome, and key genes incorporated into breeding stocks that are well-adapted for commercial growers. DNA polymorphisms and molecular tools will be developed to improve the efficiency of cranberry breeding. Methods for accurately phenotyping traits of importance will be developed and promising genetic selections will be tracked in commercial production systems that include up-to-date IPM and water management technologies.
For Objective 2, novel pest management strategies will be developed and evaluated including, but not limited to, biological controls, host pest resistances, reduced risk chemicals, and cultural practices. Pest biologies will be studied to develop models for making optimal control decisions directly applicable to commercial production systems. Environmental impact of climate change, emerging water management issues and their application to new cranberry cultivars will be incorporated into reduced-risk pest management strategies developed and evaluated in commercial production systems.