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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Physiology and Genetic Improvement of Small Fruit Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Title: Reconstruction of the Strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, Using Native Genotypes of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis

Authors
item Hancock, James -
item Finn, Chad
item Dale, Adam -
item Luby, James -
item Callow, Pete -
item Serce, Sedat -

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2010
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
Citation: Hancock, J.F., Finn, C.E., Dale, A., Luby, J.J., Callow, P.W., Serce, S. 2010. Reconstruction of the strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, using native genotypes of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis. HortScience. 45:1006-1013.

Interpretive Summary: The germplasm base of cultivated strawberries is very narrow. The major cultivated strawberry species, Fragaria ananassa, originated about 250 years ago when South American strawberries (Fragaria chiloensis) and North American meadow strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) accidentally hybridized in European gardens. Since that time, only a handful of wild plants have been used by scientists in breeding improved strawberries. As a novel way to expand the germplasm base of the strawberry, we pre-selected native clones of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis for a wide range of horticulturally important characteristics and then "reconstructed" F. ananassa by crossing superior selections of each species. Before crossing between the species, we undertook one round of selection within species to maximize diversity. Reconstruction appeared to be an effective method of strawberry improvement, as superior families and individuals were identified that had outstanding vigor, high productivity, seed set, fruit color and firmness. None of the fruit were of commercial size, but one reconstruction family, FVC 11 [(F. virginiana Frederick 9 x LH 50-4) x (F. chiloensis Scotts Creek x 2 MAR 1A)], had individuals with fruit weights of almost 20 g. This group of selections and populations will be very useful in breeding to develop new strawberry cultivars with improved fruit and plant traits.

Technical Abstract: The germplasm base of strawberries is restricted. The major cultivated strawberry species, Fragaria ananassa, originated about 250 years ago when South American F. chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis and North American F. virginiana subsp. virginiana accidentally hybridized in European gardens. Since that time, only a handful of native clones have been utilized by breeders. As a novel way to expand the germplasm base of the strawberry, we pre-selected native clones of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis for a wide range of horticulturally important characteristics and then reconstructed F. ananassa by crossing superior clones of each. Before crossing between species, we undertook one round of selection within species to maximize diversity. Reconstruction appeared to be an effective method of strawberry improvement, as superior families and individuals were identified that had outstanding vigor, high productivity, seed set, fruit color and firmness. None of the fruit were of commercial size, but one reconstruction family, FVC 11 [(F. virginiana Frederick 9 x LH 50-4) x (F. chiloensis Scotts Creek x 2 MAR 1A)], had individuals with fruit weights of almost 20 g.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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