Submitted to: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Cultivar Release
Publication Type: Germplasm Release
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Finn, C.E., Yorgey, B., Strik, B., Martin, R.R., Peterson, M.E., Pace, C. 2004. Notice to fruit growers and nurserymen of release of trailing blackberry cultivar, black pearl. USDA, Agricultural Resesarch Service, Cultivar Release. Interpretive Summary: One of the primary objectives of the USDA in Oregon is the development of high quality blackberry cultivars for the commercial industry. The main goal is to develop thornless processing cultivars that can be machine harvested. These cultivars must have fruit quality similar to or better than the current processing standard 'Marion,' which is often marketed as "marionberry". 'Black Pearl' is being released as a thornless blackberry for processing. 'Black Pearl' is outstanding because it compares favorably to 'Marion' for its plant, yield, and fruit characteristics in the field and it appears to produce processed product that is similar in quality. 'Black Pearl' is recommended for trial in areas where trailing blackberries can be successfully grown.
Technical Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Washington Agricultural Research Center announce the release of a thornless (botanically termed spineless) trailing blackberry for the processing market. BLACK PEARL was selected in Corvallis, Oregon in 1995 from a cross of ORUS 1117-11 and ORUS 1122-1 and tested as ORUS 1380-1. ORUS 1117-11 is a thornless selection with a diverse background in which 'Marion' figures prominently. ORUS 1122-1 was a very promising thorny selection that had one parent in common with 'Marion'. 'Black Pearl' has been evaluated in blind panels by industry representatives as processed individually quick frozen (IQF) and pureed products. As an IQF fruit, 'Black Pearl' was ranked better than 'Marion', 'Silvan', and 'Waldo' for color, appearance, and seediness, and it was ranked similar to 'Marion', but better than 'Silvan' and 'Waldo' for flavor and 'overall quality', As a pureed product, 'Black Pearl' was ranked similar to 'Silvan', 'Waldo', and 'Marion' for aroma, flavor, color, and 'overall quality'. The combination of input from these panels and other informal evaluations suggests that 'Black Pearl' will produce an excellent processed product. As with 'Marion', 'Black Pearl' is not expected to be well suited to the wholesale fresh market as it is too soft.'Black Pearl' is outstanding because it compares favorably to 'Marion' for its plant, yield, and fruit characteristics in the field and it appears to produce processed product that is similar in quality. 'Black Pearl' is recommended for trial in areas where trailing blackberries can be successfully grown.