Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Project Number: 6404-21000-008-02-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2008
End Date: Jul 31, 2013
To develop genetically enhanced germplasm for cultivated small fruit crops to include blueberries. Emphasis will be directed toward cultural and climatic adaptability for the southern United States, increased winter hardiness, increased fruit quality, extension of harvest season and fruit marketability, and potential for mechanical harvesting.
Conventional breeding and cultural techniques will be evaluated throughout the southeastern United States. Hybridization of prepotent parents for specific locations will be followed by selection of plants having desired character combinations for evaluation of horticultural potential. Seedling progeny developed for specific cooperator locations will be distributed. Existing progenies planted at cooperator locations in the southern U. S. will be screened for plants with improved characteristics. Evaluation of advanced selections and cultural practices will be continued at these locations. Fruit from superior germplasm will be evaluated in field and laboratory tests for quality, shelf-life, marketability, and adaptability to mechanical harvesting.