Submitted to: Mississippi Academy of Sciences Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2000
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Curry, K.J., Spiers, J.M. 2001. Incidence of splitting in 'premier' and 'tifblue' rabbiteye blueberries. Mississippi Academy of Sciences Proceedings. vol 46(1):p12.
Technical Abstract: Berry splitting resulting in poor fruit quality, often occurs in rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashae Reade) after a significant rainfall, even in plants that were sufficiently irrigated. This splitting appears to vary between cultivars. To simulate an excessive rainfall, two rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) cultivars Tifblue (consider more susceptible to splitting) and Premier (considered less susceptible) were subjected to varying soil moisture levels. Fruit were immersed in distilled (to emulate rainwater) and tap (overhead irrigation) water. Premier is more likely to split if fruit are developed on plants in moist soil conditions, while soil moisture levels do not affect Tifblue splitting. Both Premier and Tifblue are more likely to split if immersed in distilled water (overhead irrigation). Splitting apparently does not occur in either cultivar from excessive irrigation alone. In this study we correlated the frequency of splitting to fruit quality measurements such as soluble soil content, total solids, titratable acidity, pH, and force needed to split and intact berry. We anticipate that this will be a contribution to more constraining breeding parameters not only for rabbiteye blueberry, but also for other blueberries being developed such as the southern highbush.