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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
This is a Standard Research and Extension Project (SREPs) bringing together scientists, economists, extension and industries in Hawaii and Oregon to: 1) investigate the potential of 'ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum) an endemic Hawaiian berry as an ornamental potted plant, 2) establish sustainable 'ohelo berry production in Hawaii for culinary and value added products, 3) conduct critical economical analysis for objectives 1 & 2, 4) identify epidemiology, biology, host-pathogen interactions and management of potential fungal diseases that may impact sustainability.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Develop clonal production protocols for three selected ornamental clones through cuttings and tissue culture propagation; grow out evaluation at four elevations. Develop sustainable berry production using 'ohelo seedlings at four sites. Prepare feasibility analyses of 'ohelo as an ornamental and berry crop. Develop culinary and value added uses for 'Ohelo berries. Determine the etiology and management of fungal diseases of 'ohelo in Hawaii.

3. Progress Report
This research supports Objective 2 of the parent project: To efficiently and effectively conserve, regenerate and distribute tropical fruit genetic resources. This project, which is due to expire in August, 2011, will be extended for one more year in order to close out the project. Three ohelo accessions were released September 2010 and remain in the public domain as cultivars ‘Kilauea’, ‘Nene’ and ‘Red Button’. ‘Kilauea’ and ‘Red Button’ have been made available for purchase through the cooperation of an Oregon nursery and at least one nursery here in Hawaii has purchased and is growing these two cultivars for sale. Seeds have been cryopreserved at USDA, ARS, NCGRP, Ft. Collins, CO. The germination testing after six months of cryo storage shows faster germination than regular storage at room temperature. The main disease pressure found by the Pathologist is powdery mildew. Disease resistance screening of diverse ohelo germplasm was conducted to identify podery mildew resistance. Controlled inoculations resulted in finding that ‘Kilauea’ was consistently rated as tolerant. The lead scientist monitored progress through field visits, meeting with employees responsible for the oversight of the plants, e mails, telephone calls, and meetings with cooperators.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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