Submitted to: Journal Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Traditionally, it has been assumed that pollen has no effect on maternal tissue in fruit (xenia). In recent years, xenia has been reported in several fruit crops. We found that xenia occurs in blueberry. Possibly we could use xenia to identify the best pollenizer parents to decrease fruit development period an increase fruit yield. Xenia may have major economic impact in rabbiteye blueberry production if pollen parents could be selected that produce ripe fruit about 10 days earlier than when supplies increase and market prices drop. Early ripening southern highbush fruit would fill an unsupplied market window for fresh-market and export fruit at premium prices.
Technical Abstract: Results from a pollination study in rabbiteye (RE) (Vaccinium ashei) and southern highbush (SH) (V. Corymbosum) blueberry suggested xenic effects on fruit development period (FDP) and berry weight. The pollen parent significantly affected FDP in both blueberry types. There was a trend for pollen from late ripening cultivars to produce a longer FDP and pollen from mearly ripening cultivars to produce shorter FDP. The pollen parent also affected berry weight in SH blueberry. Subsequent studies of SH crosses in 1995 and 1996 supported the 1990 results. In 1995 and 1996 "males" differed at the 0.05 and 0.01 level, respectively for FDP and the 0.08 and 0.06 level, respectively, for berry weight produced on three "female" cultivars. In 1995, FDP ranged from 53 days for 'Cooper' to 59 days for 'Cape Fear' and 'O'Neal' as pollen parents. Berry weight ranged from 1.3 g per berry for 'Cape Fear' to 1.7 g per berry for 'Gulfcoast' and 'O'Neal' as pollen parents. 'Cooper' and 'Gulfcoast' as pollen parents significantly reduced fruit development period while 'O'Neal' produced the smallest berry weight in 1996. Possibly, xenia could be used to identify the best pollenizer parents to decrease FDP and increase yield in mixed cultivar plantings.