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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

2008 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Enhance genetic resources for small fruit crops via germplasm acquisition, evaluation, and breeding. Sub-objectives: a. In cooperation with staff at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, Oregon, and the ARS Plant Exchange Office and Fruit Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, collect and evaluate new accessions of Rubus, Fragaria, and Vaccinium germplasm and incorporate them into advanced breeding material. b. Breed new blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry cultivars that are productive, high quality, and readily adaptable for commercial small fruit production in the Pacific Northwest. Objective 2: Integrate new and existing small fruit cultivars into efficient, environmentally acceptable production systems. Sub-objectives: a. Determine the physiological response of small fruit genotypes to different environmental constraints (e.g., soil water limitations, nutrient deficiency, extreme temperatures, and plant diseases) and identify key determinants of resistance, tolerance, and susceptibility to these constraints. b. Develop cultural practices and crop management systems including better irrigation and fertilizer management practices for new and existing small fruit cultivars that mitigate environmental constraints on their horticultural performance and optimize their genetic yield potential.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Studies will be conducted to collect and evaluate germplasm from wild and domesticated small fruits and incorporate it into advanced breeding material for development of new cultivars with traits ideally adapted for commercial production. Key determinants of resistance, tolerance, and susceptibility to environmental constraints will also be ascertained and utilized for selection of new genotypes and for development of new cultural practices better suited to production of the crops. Anticipated products of the research will include: new cultivars of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry; new small fruit germplasm with improved and novel traits; knowledge of the availability and distribution of genetic variability in small fruit species; greater understanding of physiological mechanisms governing the response of small fruit crops to various abiotic and biotic stresses; and new cultural practices and management systems for small fruit crops that result in higher yield and fruit quality, efficient water and nutrient use, and lower environmental impact. Formerly 5358-21000-036-00D (3/08).

3. Progress Report
This project is new as of March 2008. Field studies have been initiated on blueberry, blackberry and strawberry. Progress is being made toward milestones and objectives outlined in the 5-year project plan. This project is a continuation of project 5358-21000-036-00D. National Program action items include Plant and microbial genetic resource management and Genetic improvement of crops.

4. Accomplishments
1. As this is a continuation, please see the report for project 5358-21000-036-00D.

5. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations

Review Publications
Dossett, M., Lee, J., Finn, C.E. 2008. Inheritance of phenological, vegetative, and fruit chemistry traits in black raspberry. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 133:408-417.

Finn, C.E., Thomas, A.L., Byers, P.L., Serce, S. 2008. Evaluation of American (Sambucus canadensis) and European (S. nigra) elderberry genotypes grown in Missouri and Oregon and impact on cultivar development. HortScience. 43(5):1385-1391.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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