Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #211174

Title: Challenges and Strategies in Breeding Black Raspberries (Rubus occidentalis L.) for Improved Nutraceutical Value

item Finn, Chad
item Lee, Jungmin

Submitted to: Berry Health Benefits Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2007
Publication Date: 6/11/2007
Citation: Dossett, M., Finn, C.E., Lee, J. 2007. Challenges and strategies in breeding black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis L.) for improved nutraceutical value. Berry Health Benefits Symposium Proceedings. p. 60.

Interpretive Summary: Black raspberries are rich in compounds that are potentially good for you, like anthocyanins that give the berries their intense dark red color. This study examined the strategies and challenges that were faced when creating a black raspberry breeding program for improved anthocyanin content and desired horticultural traits.

Technical Abstract: Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) consumption has increased in recent years due in part to studies showing these berries to be particularly high in anthocyanins and other polyphenolics, which have been demonstrated to have antioxidant capacities. This has resulted in renewed interest in black raspberry breeding. Present cultivars are ill adapted to the biotic and abiotic stresses of the Pacific Northwest, where the commercial black raspberry industry is centered, and fields must be replanted after 3-5 seasons. An incomplete, partial diallel, consisting of 26 sibling families from 10 parents, was constructed for the study of variation and inheritance of fruit chemistry, vegetative, and reproductive traits in black raspberry. Sibling families of one to eight plants were established at the Oregon State University Lewis Brown Farm in Corvallis, Oregon, and were arranged as a randomized complete block design. Fruit was collected from each plant, and pooled by family within blocks, to study variation in fruit chemistry properties including individual anthocyanin profiles, total anthocyanins, total phenolics, and others. Although there were many similarities, strong trends in phenotype based on pedigree were observed for most traits indicating a strong genetic component. For all of these traits, additive genetic effects were significant and more important than dominance effects. Estimated narrow-sense heritability for total anthocyanins was low (0.30) while heritability of the individual anthocyanins was generally moderate (range = 0.39-0.76). In addition, variation in the proportions of individual anthocyanins was observed in progenies of the wild parent which was not present in named cultivars. The results indicate potential for progress breeding for these traits from careful breeding and selection within the population of plants studied.