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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Virus Management of Small Fruit Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Title: A comparison of fruit characteristics among diverse elderberry genotypes grown in Missouri and Oregon.

Authors
item Thomas, Andrew -
item Perkins-Veazie, Penelope -
item Byers, Patrick -
item Finn, Chad
item Lee, Jungmin

Submitted to: Journal of Berry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2013
Publication Date: November 21, 2013
Citation: Thomas, A.L., Perkins-Veazie, P., Byers, P.L., Finn, C.E., Lee, J. 2013. A comparison of fruit characteristics among diverse elderberry genotypes grown in Missouri and Oregon. Journal of Berry Research. 3:159-168.

Interpretive Summary: Elderberries are loaded with red and blue pigments. While native to North America and Europe, elderberries have been a minor commercial fruit crop, traditionally used to make jams, jellies, juice, etc. We examined fruit quality of twelve genotypes of American elderberry, Sambucus canadensis L. grown at three US sites. Elderberries grown in both Missouri sites were generally higher in total anthocyanins and phenolics compared to those from Oregon. Additional work is needed to cultivate elderberry commercially in the US.

Technical Abstract: Elderberry (Sambucus spp.) fruit are used for food and dietary supplements in Europe and North America, and contain large amounts of cyanidin-based anthocyanins and other phenolics that may benefit human health. The chemical composition of elderberry fruits relative to genetic and production environment was evaluated from 12 American elderberry (S. canadensis) genotypes at three U.S. sites (two in Missouri and one in Oregon) over three growing seasons. Location, genotype, and growing season influenced pH, soluble solids, titratable acidity, total phenolics, and total anthocyanins. Additional genotypes of American and European (S. nigra) elderberry were studied at the Oregon site. Elderberries of both species grown in Oregon were consistently and significantly higher in acidity than those grown in Missouri. Differences in acidity and anthocyanin with environment were dependent on genotype. ‘Bob Gordon’ and ‘Adams 2’ genotypes, which are good producers in diverse environments, were significantly higher in total phenolic and total anthocyanin contents in all locations. In contrast, ‘Johns’ and ‘Netzer’ yielded fruit high in total anthocyanin content in Oregon but low in anthocyanin content in Missouri locations. HPLC analysis of ‘Bob Gordon’ and ‘Adams 2’ grown at the three locations indicated that non-acylated anthocyanins and flavonol-glycosides were more influenced by location than by genotype. An additional set of fruit grown in Oregon, including 23 American and three European elderberry genotypes, were similar in total phenolic and anthocyanin content across species but showed differences with production year. ‘Adams 2’, ‘Bob Gordon’, ‘Harris 4’, ‘Eridu 1’, ‘Highway O’ and ‘Wyldewood’ S. canadensis genotypes were consistently high in total anthocyanin in the diverse Missouri and Oregon climates and may be good selections for producing juices, wines, or health products.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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