Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2008
Publication Date: September 5, 2009
Citation: Stringer, S.J., Spiers, J.M., Draper, A., Marshall, D.A. 2009. Potential new blueberry cultivars for the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. Acta Horticulturae. 810:87-92. Interpretive Summary: Productive new blueberry cultivars with good fruit quality that also meet the needs of various niche markets are necessary for southeastern U.S. blueberry growers to remain competitive in the rapidly expanding worldwide blueberry industry. Five new elite blueberry stains are being developed for release to meet the needs of growers in this region. Two strains, MS 706 (rabbiteye) and MS 812 ( southern highbush) will provide growers with an early ripening rabbiteye blueberry that will enable them to more effectively exploit the lucrative early-season market. Two other strains, MS 282 and MS 454 (rabbiteyes) will provide new high yielding cultivars with excellent fruit quality for both the fresh and processing markets. Still another strain, MS 271 (rabbiteye), will provide growers with a highly productive cultivar having fruit quality more suitable for the needs of the bak8ing industry.
Technical Abstract: Several new elite rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberry strains developed from diverse origins and having potential for release as new blueberry cultivars for the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. have been developed. Promising new early ripening and vigorous new rabbiteye blueberry strains being considered for release include MS 632 and 706. Two additional rabbiteye blueberry strains, MS 282 and MS 454, ripen somewhat later but are very productive and have excellent fruit quality suitable for both fresh and processing markets. Another V. asheii derivative, MS 271, is also vigorous and highly productive, with fruit suitable for the processing and baking industry. MS 812 is a vigorous and productive, early-ripening southern highbush blueberry having excellent fruit quality suitable for the lucrative early fresh market. Upon release, these new cultivars will provide growers with vigorous and adapted new cultivars for use to exploit and capitalize on the increased profitability associated with early market windows, and also on profitability associated with high yielding cultivars with good fruit quality for the processing blueberry market.