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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: Seed Coat Morphology Differentiates Blackberry Cultivars

Authors
item Wada, Sugae -
item Reed, Barbara

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 11, 2010
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
Citation: Wada, S., Reed, B.M. 2010. Seed Coat Morphology Differentiates Blackberry Cultivars. Journal of American Pomological Society. 64(3):151-160.

Interpretive Summary: Commerical blackberry processors may have difficulty determining which cultivar they are buying because much of the fruit looks similar, even though the taste is different. Less desirable cultivars may be mistaken or substituted for more desirable ones, resulting in mislabeled products or economic losses. The objective of this study was to develop an effective way to distinguish blackberry cultivars using seed structure. Seed of 17 commercially important blackberry cultivars collected from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) and Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory (HCRL) were examined with light and scanning electron microscopy. One key characteristic is the shape of the base of the seed: straight, concave or convex. Seed shape, color, size and seed-coat sculpturing further distinguish the cultivars. Although scanning electron microscopy showed the seed coat sculpturing in greater detail, it was not required to differentiate these cultivars.

Technical Abstract: Determining the cultivar identity of blackberry fruit may be problematic when the parent plant is not available for examination. The ability to correctly identify commercial cultivars is important to the industry. Less desirable cultivars may be mistaken or substituted for more desirable ones, resulting in mislabeled products or economic losses. Often processers are interested in distinguishing a highly popular cultivar from other commercially grown blackberries with similar fruit characteristics. The objective of this study was to develop an effective way to distinguish blackberry cultivars using seed morphology. Seed of 17 commercially important blackberry cultivars collected from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) and Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory (HCRL) were examined with light and scanning electron microscopy. One key characteristic is the shape of the raphe: straight, concave or convex. Seed shape, color, size and seed-coat sculpturing further distinguish the cultivars. Although scanning electron microscopy showed the seed coat sculpturing in greater detail, it was not required to differentiate these cultivars.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014