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United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Washington, D.C. 20250
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903

Notice of the Release of
Highbush Blueberry

The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station hereby release to nurserymen for propagation a new highbush blueberry cultivar named CHANTICLEER. Tested as G-481, CHANTICLEER is a sibling of 'Sunrise', and is a progeny from the cross G-180 x Me-US 6620. G-180 originated from the cross G-100 ('Ivanhoe' x 'Earliblue') x 'Collins'. Me-US 6620 originated from a cross of E-22 ('Earliblue' x No. 3 ['North Sedgwick' lowbush x 'Coville']) x Me-US 24 (NH-1 x 'Earliblue'). NH-1 is from the cross 'Coville' x 'North Sedgwick' lowbush blueberry. The cross that produced CHANTICLEER was made by A.D. Draper at Beltsville, Maryland in 1974. The seedling was selected in 1978 at the Atlantic Blueberry Company, Hammonton, NJ and subsequently evaluated by A.D. Draper, G.J. Galletta, G. Jelenkovic, N.Vorsa, and M.K. Ehlenfeldt.

CHANTICLEER (the rooster) was so named because of its characteristic of very early ripening. CHANTICLEER ripens its fruit 2-5 days earlier than 'Weymouth', the earliest leading cultivar, and is superior to 'Weymouth' in fruit size and color. Its fruit are medium sized, medium to light blue, with good scars, and good firmness. CHANTICLEER fruit is sweet, sub-acid, and mild flavored. Production is equivalent to 'Weymouth'. Table 1 compares fruit characteristics of CHANTICLEER to 'Weymouth', 'Duke', and 'Bluecrop'.

CHANTICLEER is an upright, moderate height bush, that flowers slightly later than 'Weymouth' offering improved avoidance from damage by late spring frosts. Observations have suggested it is resistant to mummy berry blight caused by the fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi. Screening in North Carolina has shown it to be relatively resistant to stem blight caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, but blighting has been observed in New Jersey on some younger plantings. CHANTICLEER has been a consistently good performer in New Jersey, but has been more variable in other regions, producing low to moderate yields in Michigan, Arkansas, Oregon, and North Carolina. CHANTICLEER is recommended as an early season cultivar primatily for commercial growers in northeastern temperate regions, including New Jersey and adjoining states.

Nurserymen may request information on how to obtain propagations by contacting M.K. Ehlenfeldt, USDA-ARS Blueberry & Cranberry Research Center, 125A Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019. Requests for plants will be prorated if demand exceeds the supply. Genetic material of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including the development and commercialization of new cultivars.

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Table 1. Fruit weight, color, firmness, soluble solids, titratable acidity, and estimated 50% ripening dates for 'Chanticleer', 'Weymouth', 'Duke', and 'Bluecrop' across all harvests in Hammonton, New Jersey in 1996.

CultivarWeightBerry ColorFirmness Soluble SolidsTitratable AcidityDate 50% Ripe
(grams)(L)1( citric acid)3
Chanticleer 1.93113013.4 0.366/21
Duke1.930 15010.30.416/27
1 Color in the L*a*b* color co-ordinate system as defined by the Commision Internationale l'Eclairage (CIE). L co-ordinate indicates lightness; higher numbers indicate lighter color. Color meter aperture, 50 mm.
2 Grams of force needed to produce 1mm of deflection, averaged across 30 intact fruit.
3 Atypical reading for 'Bluecrop', at another location 'Bluecrop' averaged 130 g/mm firmness reading across the harvest season.

For more information about Chanticleer please contact: Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt

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