Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The genetic diversity of commercial cultivated strawberry upon which breeders depend for developing new cultivars is quite restricted. This is problematic as the strawberry industry is increasingly limited in regards to the chemicals available to control diseases and pests in commercial plantings. Although commercial strawberry is closely related to several wild relative species that are readily available to breeders, such wild germplasm has not been widely utilized in modern strawberry breeding programs. In order to be most useful, wild, related germplasm needs to be well-characterized. A number of research groups in North America have spent the last decade systematically identifying and characterizing superior wild New World strawberry clones. A 'supercore' collection of 38 such New World strawberry clones has been identified and evaluated in a multi-location trial. Information generated from this evaluation of the 'supercore' collection will be used by plant breeders around the world in their efforts to develop more genetically diverse germplasm and superior cultivars for the commercial strawberry industry.
An elite group of 38 strawberry accessions representing all the subspecies of Fragaria chiloensis and F. virginiana was set in a replicated design at five locations across the United States, and evaluated for plant vigor, flowering date, runner density, fruit set, fruit appearance and foliar disease resistance. Considerable genotype x location interaction was observed for many of these traits; however, a few genotypes were impressive at all locations including PI 551735 (FRA 368) with its unusually large, early fruit, and PIs 612486 (NC 95-19-1), 612493 (Frederick 9) and 612499 (RH 30), which were very vigorous and had unusually good fruit color. Genotypes that were superior at individual locations included PIs 551527 (FRA 110) and 551728 (Pigeon Pt.) in Maryland for their large fruit, and PI 612490 (Scotts Creek) in Oregon which had extremely large fruit, superior color, firmness and flavor. The PIs 612495 (LH 50), 612498 (RH 23) and 612499 (RH 30) performed well as day-neutrals at multiple sites.