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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: USDA-ARS Bramble Research at Beltsville

Author
item Lewers, Kimberly

Submitted to: Proceedings of the North American Bramble Growers Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2003
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Citation: Lewers, K.S. 2003. Usda-ars bramble research at beltsville. Proceedings of the North American Bramble Growers Association Annual Meeting.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA-ARS bramble cultivar development program at Beltsville, Maryland has a long history. Perhaps the greatest success from this program has been the development of several thornless blackberry cultivars including Chester, which currently is the most commonly grown blackberry cultivar in the Eastern US. Bramble research at Beltsville was significantly scaled back several years ago, but was recently revived. Current research includes evaluation of cultivars and selections from several states and genetic mapping of horticulturally important traits including disease resistance. These projects are collaborations with other researchers. The first steps toward reviving the cultivar development program also have been initiated. Cultivar development is less amenable to collaboration, though not impossible. Current goals include thornlessness, a plant architecture that is easy for growers to manage, frost tolerance, cold hardiness, good shipping quality, including resistance to fruit rots, good flavor, and high nutritional value. Small fruit producers, nurseries and other researchers are interested in current and future research plans at Beltsville, and their input regarding desirable traits and research direction is highly valued, so these research plans were outlined recently at an international commodity group meeting.

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS bramble cultivar development program at Beltsville, Maryland has a long history. Perhaps the greatest success from this program has been the development of several thornless blackberry cultivars including Chester, which currently is the most commonly grown blackberry cultivar in the Eastern US. Bramble research at Beltsville was significantly scaled back several years ago, but was recently revived. Current research includes evaluation of cultivars and selections from several states and genetic mapping of primocane fruiting and disease resistance. These projects are collaborations with other researchers. The first steps toward reviving the cultivar development program also have been initiated. Cultivar development is less amenable to collaboration, though not impossible. Current goals include thornlessness, erect to semi-erect architecture, frost tolerance, cold hardiness, good shipping quality, including resistance to fruit rots, good flavor, and high nutritional value. Grower and nursery input regarding desirable traits is highly valued.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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