Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J.M., Stringer, S.J., Curry, K.J. 2007. Laboratory method to estimate incidence of fruit splitting in cultivated blueberry. HortScience 42(7):1551-1553.2007.
Interpretive Summary: Soaking berries in distilled water at room temperature for 14 hours is a good test for splitting tendencies in blueberries, and is used for that purpose in other fruit crops. The method developed for this research would give a relative susceptibility, and would be appropriate for screening possible blueberry selections before release. This method would benefit geneticist by providing a rigorous and insuring test for splitting susceptibility for screening purposes. Soaking the berries in distilled water 14 hours would give a confident determination of splitting tendencies for rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberries.
Technical Abstract: Multi-year field surveys of select rabbiteye and southern highbush cultivars show that the incidence of rain-related splitting is strongly cultivar dependent. Year to year variations within cultivars reflected yearly differences in ripening times and amounts and timing of rainfall. Laboratory values of forced splitting and field splitting data of three years show a strong relationship indicating that the incidence of fruit splitting can be accurately estimated by laboratory methods. Soaking the berries in distilled water 14 hours would give a confident determination of splitting tendencies. This method could be used by geneticists to screen selections accurately for splitting tendencies as part of routine testing.