Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2006
Publication Date: July 15, 2006
Citation: Ehlenfeldt, M.K., Rowland, L.J. 2006. Progress in selection for cold-hardiness, adaption, and quality in vaccinium ashei and vaccinium ashei/v. constablaei derivatives and the potential for northern-adapted rabbiteye cultivars. American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting. 41:936
In recent years, the USDA has generated V. ashei and V. constablaei derivatives to provide late-flowering, early-ripening rabbiteye germplasm for the southern U.S.; however, this germplasm has also performed well in New Jersey, and could potentially provide northern-adapted rabbiteye types. When combined, these germplasms complement each other in many respects. Crosses with varying percentages of V. constablaei germplasm ranging from 100% to 0%, in 25% increments, were evaluated for mid-winter cold-hardiness using a detached twig assay. Hybrids with 50% or more V. constablaei germplasm were hardy to -25° C or lower. Further backcrosses to V. ashei resulted in dramatic segregation for hardiness, but still yielded some progeny as hardy as typical northern highbush. Assays of rabbiteye cultivars have been recently completed to enhance the ability to generate cold hardy hybrids. Recombination and selection have begun to yield hybrids improved for critical commercial characteristics, and further rapid progress is expected.