Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2007
Publication Date: 7/2/2007
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J.M., Stringer, S.J. 2007. Predicting Berry Splitting Indices in Rabbiteye and Southern Highbush Blueberries Using Fruit Firmness as an Indicator. HortScience 42(2):1020.
Technical Abstract: Understanding the cause of fruit splitting in blueberries is difficult. Researchers have been working on the problem of fruit splitting in various fruit crops for more than 70 years. If a few key factors that cause splitting in blueberries can be identified and these factors can be evaluated in new potential cultivars, then long term reductions in commercial blueberry fruit splitting are feasible. Blueberry breeders strive to develop a blueberry that is firm in texture, and palatable. Yet, in previous studies splitting susceptible fruit had higher fruit firmness values than splitting resistant varieties. This study was initiated to further investigate the correlation between splitting susceptibility and fruit firmness. Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) and Southern Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum X) blueberry cultivars and selections were used to determine if berries with higher measurements of fruit firmness had a higher splitting occurrence. Berries were measured for fruit firmness using a QTS25 and/or a FirmTech2 instrument. Fruit were submitted to laboratory induced splitting. Correlations were determined by SAS. A significant negative correlation was found between splitting and deformation values tested on QTS25. No other significant correlation was found between splitting and firmness measurements.