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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Virus Management of Small Fruit Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Title: ‘Baby Blues’ highbush blueberry

Author
item Finn, Chad
item Strik, Bernadine
item Yorgey, Brian
item Mackey, Theodore - Ted
item Hancock, James
item Lee, Jungmin
item Martin, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2016
Publication Date: 7/5/2016
Citation: Finn, C.E., Strik, B.C., Yorgey, B.M., Mackey, T.A., Hancock, J.F., Lee, J., Martin, R.R. 2016. ‘Baby Blues’ highbush blueberry. HortScience. 51(6):761-765.

Interpretive Summary: ‘Baby Blues’ is a new highbush blueberry from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) breeding program in Corvallis, OR, released in cooperation with Oregon State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station. It is the first cultivars released from this program for fruit production versus ornamental value. ‘Baby Blues’ is a vigorous, high-yielding, very small-fruited, machine-harvestable highbush blueberry with outstanding fruit quality that will be primarily suited for the processing market where small fruit size is desirable. ‘Baby Blues’ should offer the industry an alternative to the low-yielding ‘Rubel’ highbush blueberry and to the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) with its mixture of many variable genotypes. ‘Baby Blues’ is introduced as a very high-quality, high-yielding, machine-harvestable, northern highbush blueberry with very small, uniformly shaped and sized, bright blue fruit with an outstanding, aromatic blueberry flavor that is well-suited for processing. ‘Baby Blues’ should be adapted to most areas where northern highbush blueberries can be grown successfully but should be trialed in areas with harsh winters before being commercialized.

Technical Abstract: ‘Baby Blues’ is a new highbush blueberry from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) breeding program in Corvallis, OR, released in cooperation with Oregon State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station. ‘Baby Blues’ is a vigorous, high-yielding, very small-fruited, machine-harvestable highbush blueberry with outstanding fruit quality that will be primarily suited for the processing market where small fruit size is desirable. ‘Baby Blues’ should offer growers and processors an alternative to the low-yielding ‘Rubel’ highbush blueberry and to the lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium Ait.) that, by the nature of its production and harvest, is a mixture of many variable genotypes. ‘Baby Blues’ should be a potential cultivar in the milder areas where northern highbush blueberries are grown. ‘Baby Blues’, tested as ORUS 10-1, was selected in Corvallis, OR in 1999 from a cross made in 1993 by J.F. Hancock at Michigan State University (E. Lansing, MI) of US 647 (US 75 × G 362) × US 645 (US 75 × G 362). The two parents were selections made by A. Draper, formerly from the USDA-ARS (Beltsville, MD), in his work to broaden the germplasm base of the highbush blueberry. The parents were included in a multistate trial to characterize germplasm that might be tolerant of mineral soils. In that research, US 645 had been identified as a superior parent for plant height, plant volume, growth rate (volume increase), adaptation to mineral soils, early bloom date, and yield, while US 647 was superior for adaptation to mineral soils, early bloom date and large berry size. ‘Baby Blues’ is introduced as a very high-quality, high-yielding, machine-harvestable, northern highbush blueberry with very small, uniformly shaped and sized, bright blue fruit with an outstanding, aromatic blueberry flavor that is well-suited for processing. ‘Baby Blues’ should be adapted to most areas where northern highbush blueberries can be grown successfully but should be trialed in areas with harsh winters before being commercialized.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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