Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2006
Publication Date: November 7, 2006
Citation: Lewers, K.S. 2006. Strawberry Breeding in the USA. Meeting Abstract. p. 137-145 Technical Abstract: The US strawberry industry is dominated by production of fresh fruit for sale to grocery distributors. Other market systems include sales to food processors, at farmers’ markets, at roadside stands, and directly to customers who come to the growers’ farms to pick their own fruit and experience the farm environment for a day. Each selling environment requires specialized plant and fruit characteristics. US strawberry breeders work to meet those requirements with new strawberry cultivars, making incremental progress each year while also adapting the breeding programs to new markets, growing systems, and emerging pests. The USDA-ARS strawberry breeding program at Beltsville, Maryland, uses cultivars, selections, and wild strawberry genotypes to develop cultivars tested in environments similar to those in which they will be grown, but with less protection from fungal and insect pests. In addition, the program is developing genetic tools to increase the efficiency of the breeding process. These include the development of molecular markers and maps for potential marker-assisted selection, development of molecular markers for confirming cultivar identity, and the development of virus-detection protocols. Cultivars resulting solely from the Beltsville project have not been patented, and those that were patented because they were developed in collaboration with other institutions have been released with unrestricted licensing.