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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Currants and Gooseberries: Comprehensive Report

Authors
item Hummer, Kim
item Barney, Danny - UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

Submitted to: Hortechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 25, 2001
Publication Date: July 1, 2002

Interpretive Summary: Black, red and white currants, and gooseberries are little known crops in the US but are economically significant elsewhere. These fruits are nutritious and healthful, with high contents of antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C. These fruits are economically important agricultural commodities in Russia, Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and New Zealand. Some of these fruits are eaten fresh and others are processe for juices, jams, jellie, bakery, and dairy products. Black and red currants have been domesticated and used for medicines in Europe since the 1400's and 1500's. Now black currant juice is the most economically important commercial product. During the past 75 years plant breeders have incorporated genes for disease and pest resistance into desired fruiting cultivars, increased fruit size and quality, and have developed frost resistant plants. Some diseases and pests, such as reversion and gall mites, are present in Europe but are not in America. Unfortunately, two diseases, the native powdery mildew and the introduced white pine blister rust are in America. New high fruit quality currant cultivars, with resistance to reversion and gall mites, are being developed for Europe; with immunity or resistance to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew, are being developed for North America.

Technical Abstract: Black (Ribes nigrum, R. ussuriense), red (R. rubrum, R. sativum), and white currants (R. rubrum), gooseberries (R. uva-crispa, R. hirtellum, R. oxyacanthoides and hybrids) and Jostaberries (R. x nidigrolaria) are little known crops in the US but are economically significant elsewhere. The fruits of these plants are nutritious; they are rich sources of compounds identified as nutraceutical, high contents of antioxidants such as vitamin C, phenolics, and flavonoids. They are economically important agricultural commodities in Russia, Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, UK, and New Zealand. Some of these fruits are eaten fresh while others are processed for juices, jams, jellies, bakery, and dairy products. Black and red currants were collected for medicinal use in Europe in the 1400's and 1500's, and have been domesticated as fruit crops since then. During the past 75 years plant breeders have incorporated genes for disease and pest resistance into odesired fruiting cultivars, increased fruit size and quality, and have developed frost resistant plants. Without black currant reversion virus or the currant gall mite, American growers would have a great production advantage. The Native powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca mors-uvae) and the introduced white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) provide challanges for American growers. New high fruit quality currant cultivars, with resistance to reversion and gall mites are being developed for Europe. Cultivars with immunity or resistance to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew are being developed for North America.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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