Submitted to: Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2014
Publication Date: 3/9/2015
Citation: Ehlenfeldt, M.K., Rowland, L.J. 2015. Utilizing V. constablaei and V. ashei in germplasm and cultivar development. Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings. DOI: 10.7282/T35140W5.
Technical Abstract: An ongoing project has pursued the goal of incorporating the cold-hardiness and late bloom of V. constablaei into a form that might be suitable for northern growers. Experimentation and past research suggested that combining V. constablaei with V. ashei would allow the best aspects of both of these germplasms to be combined into a usable form. Such hybrids derive late bloom and cold-hardiness from V. constablaei as expected, and many aspects of vigor from rabbiteye, but additional characters from both parents must be optimized to produce cultivar-quality material. The first commercial product in the USDA program of this introgression is the variety ‘Nocturne’, which achieves the majority of the goals desired in combining these germplasms. ‘Nocturne’, however, is dark-fruited and is unlikely to achieve success as a mainstream cultivar. Among more advanced breeding populations, additional strategies have been implemented to enhance the recovery of commercially acceptable types. Season of ripening, bush form, cold hardiness, fertility, and fruit quality are among the issues involved in furthering the use of this material.