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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES Title: Horticulture of Ribes

Authors
item Hummer, Kim
item Dale, Adam -

Submitted to: Forest Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2010
Publication Date: June 20, 2010
Citation: Hummer, K.E., Dale, A. 2010. Horticulture of Ribes. Forest Pathology. 40:251-263.

Interpretive Summary: More than 150 species of currants and gooseberries have been named. These species are native to northern hemisphere and along the Rocky Mountain, Sierra Nevada, and Sierra Madres in North America through mountain ranges of Central America to the Andes in South America. Beginning in the 1400s, four main crop types, black currants, red and white currants and gooseberries were domesticated from European species from this genus. American and Eurasian species were selected and combined into the germplasm base of European and American breeding programs in the 1900s. Black currants are a major economic crop in many European countries but are minor in North America, although they can be produced successfully in the northern states and southern portion of the Canadian provinces. Currants and gooseberries can be hosts for white pine blister rust. This disease was introduced from Asia through Europe into North America about1890. Restrictions were imposed on currants and gooseberries in the United States when the rust was observed on this continent. Twelve states continue to have 40 year-old laws prohibiting or restricting currant cultivation. Some states have recently repealed these restrictions. The purpose of this paper is to describe the cultivation of currants and gooseberries and their interaction with rust. Currant and gooseberry production has a potentially great economic value in niche markets that could help sustain small acreage American berry farmers.

Technical Abstract: The genus Ribes L., known as currants and gooseberries, contains more than 150 diverse species indigenous throughout the northern hemisphere and along the Rocky Mountain, Sierra Nevada, and Sierra Madres in North America through mountain ranges of Central America to the Andes in South America. Beginning in the 1400s, four main crop types, black currants (Ribes, subgenus: Ribes, section: Botrycarpum), red and white currants (Ribes, subgenus: Ribes, section: Ribes) and gooseberries (Ribes, subgenus: Grossularia) were domesticated from European species from this genus. American and Eurasian species were selected and combined into the germplasm base of European and American breeding programs in the 1900s. Black currants (R. nigrum L. and hybrids) are a major economic crop in many European countries but are minor in North America, although they can be produced successfully in the northern states and southern portion of the Canadian provinces. Ribes plants can be hosts for white pine blister rust, caused by Cronartium ribicola J. C. Fisch. ex Rab. This disease was introduced from Asia through Europe into North America c. 1890s. Restrictions were imposed on currants and gooseberries in the United States when the rust was observed on this continent. Twelve states continue to have 40 year-old laws prohibiting or restricting Ribes cultivation. Some states have recently repealed these restrictions. The purpose of this paper is to describe the cultivation of currants and gooseberries and their interaction with rust. Ribes production has a potentially great economic value in niche markets that could help sustain small acreage American berry farmers.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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