Submitted to: Handbook of Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 27, 2011
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Kempler, C., Hall, H., Finn, C.E. 2012. Raspberry. In: Badenes, M.L. and Byrne, D.H., editors. Handbook of Plant Breeding: Vollume 8: Fruit breeding. Springer, New York. p. 151-190.
The red raspberry, Rubus idaeus L., is a valuable crop that has recently increased in production, generating a large interest in commercial ventures and in research. Traditionally, most of the crop has been sold to processors, for freezing, jam production, canning, juice, and flavorings for ice cream, yogurt, and other products, but in recent years fresh market production has increased and become a very important sector of this industry. There has been an increased interest in black, purple, and Arctic raspberries because of their high nutraceutical value. R. idaeus, a diploid (2n=14) is included in the Idaeobatus and is the most important commercial species in the subgenus. The flowers are hermaphroditic; however, in some cases, they are unisexual, especially among wild species. Domestication of raspberries is comparably recent as it occurred less than 500 years ago. Red raspberries are widely distributed in all temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America with the greatest diversity in China. Enriching the cultivated gene pool by incorporating the unique genetics from wild germplasm to meet the challenges that lie ahead is desired. Breeding goals are the improvement of fruit quality which includes selection for better preharvest hanging ability and postharvest shelf life and processed quality. Resistance to heat and cold and resistance to pests and disease are also important, as well as large fruit size, good presentation, and ease of harvest. Fruit color of the newer cultivars varies from very dark red to a light orange-red and there has become a tradition of cultivar selection specifically for processing or for fresh market. There are now approximately 50 active raspberry breeding programs in 26 countries, mostly in Europe and North America. Use of molecular markers for genetic studies and mapping is referenced, however, in this crop, it is at an early stage with only a few genes mapped.