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Research Project: Developing the Genomic Infrastructure for Breeding Improved Black Raspberries (Cornell)

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Studying genotype by environment interaction on specific traits of interest in crosses involving diverse wild black raspberry germplasm. Gain a better understanding of consumer preferences for market expansion.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Studying genotype by environment interaction on specific traits of interest in crosses involving diverse wild germplasm. Mapping populations that segregate for a variety of traits have been generated using germplasm from the edges of the species native range. The populations will be planted and evaluated in New York, North Carolina and Oregon. Analyses of fruit chemistry will be made to examine total anthocyanins and phenolics. Evaluate transferability of SSR markers developed in black raspberry to red raspberry. SSR markers mined from black raspberry EST and genomic sequences will be evaluated for amplification and polymorphism in red raspberry by capillary electrophoresis. Polymorphism will be determined and added to linkage maps for those populations by UK collaborators. Documents Grant with Cornell.

3. Progress Report:
This research was conducted in support of objective 3A of the parent project. Black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) are well known for their health-promoting properties. Despite this, they remain a minor crop because they are difficult to grow and are primarily a processed as opposed to a fresh market crop. The overall goal of the USDA-NIFA project "Developing the Genomic Infrastructure for Breeding Improved Black Raspberries" is to develop genetic information to hasten the development of the superior black raspberry cultivars that will fuel industry growth. In addition to being horticulturally superior, new berry cultivars will need to possess quality traits that invoke greater consumer demand if this industry expansion is to occur. The New York Agricultural Experiment Station/Cornell University in Geneva, New York, has been breeding black raspberries for over 100 years. Although some improved cultivars exist, these cultivars show very little diversity and improved cultivars are needed in order to increase consumers interest. In May 2012, we planted over 300 black raspberry seedlings that represented two mapping populations developed by the USDA-ARS in Oregon. We will be evaluating this group of plants to determine if any individual has outstanding horticultural traits such as large size, good flavor and firmness. In addition, because we are located in the northeast United States, where the climate is warm and humid in the summer and cold in the winter, we will be able to determine if any of the seedlings survive well in our climate, and are heat or winter tolerant. Plant evaluation will begin immediately and fruit characterization in 1 or 2 years depending on plant growth.

4. Accomplishments