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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mummy Berry Blight Resistance in Rabbiteye Blueberry Cultivars

Authors
item Ehlenfeldt, Mark
item Stretch, Allan

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 11, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Mummy berry, caused by the fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi is the most important widespread fungal disease of blueberry in North America. The fungus has two stages, a shoot blighting phase and a flower/fruit infection stage. In this study the resistance of 26 rabbiteye blueberry cultivars to the blighting phase of mummy berry disease was evaluated under controlled conditions. Significant differences among cultivars were observed. In 1997, blight levels ranged from 31% to 84%, and averaged 61.3% across all cultivars. In 1998, blight levels ranged from 71% to 99%, and averaged 89.9%. Several cultivars exhibited lower levels of mummy berry blight infection in both years. Among the more resistant cultivars were Coastal, Delite, Centurion, Walker, Callaway, and Garden Blue. Rabbiteye blueberry, in general, has less resistance to mummy berry blight than highbush blueberry, but several options exist for potential improvement.

Technical Abstract: The resistance of 26 rabbiteye blueberry cultivars to the blighting phase of mummy berry disease was evaluated under controlled conditions. Significant differences among cultivars were observed. In 1997, blight levels averaged 61.3% across all cultivars and in 1998, blight levels averaged 89.9%. Several cultivars exhibited lower levels of mummy berry blight infection in both years. Among the more resistant cultivars were Coastal, Delite, Centurion, Walker, Callaway, and Garden Blue. A significant correlation was observed between blighting levels and shoot development in 1997, however the value was not large enough for it to be used as a predictive tool. In 1998 the correlation was non-significant. Rabbiteye blueberry, in general, has less resistance to mummy berry blight than highbush blueberry, but several options exist for potential improvement, including rabbiteye x highbush crosses, backcrosses of pentaploids to rabbiteye, V. constablaei x rabbiteye crosses, and crosses of synthesized 6x highbush x rabbiteye.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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