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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

Title: Identification of Blackberry Cultivars by Seed Structure

Authors
item Wada, Sugae -
item Nonogaki, Hiroyuki -
item Reed, Barbara

Submitted to: Oregon State University Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: December 29, 2009
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
Citation: Wada, S., Nonogaki, H., Reed, B.M. Identification of Blackberry Cultivars by Seed Structure. Oregon State University Extension Publications Online Catalog #EM9002. pp. 25.

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. This handbook provides a way to distinguish blackberry cultivars using seed structure and a low power microscope. 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. Photographs of the seed aid in identification. Although scanning electron microscopy showed the seed coat sculpturing in greater detail, it was not required to differentiate the cultivars. Photographs of the seeds allow easy identification.

Technical Abstract: This handbook was designed to aid blackberry processors in determining the cultivar identity of blackberry fruit. The ability to correctly identify commercial cultivars is important to the berry industry because 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. This handbook provides an effective way to distinguish blackberry cultivars using seed morphology and a low power microscope. 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. A key was designed for determining the cultivar identity based on seed characters. The initial key characteristic is the shape of the raphe: straight, concave or convex. Seed shape, size, color 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. Photographs of the seeds allow easy visual identification.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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