Submitted to: Patent Application
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Oregon is the largest blackberry producing state in the U.S., with an industry focused on machine harvesting trailing varieties for the processing and individual quick frozen (IQF) markets. Growers are currently demanding a wider array of high-yielding, machine harvestable trailing cultivars with acceptable processing quality in order to provide more options and flexibility, as well as to increase the likelihood of identifying a new standard with resistance to emerging diseases such as "blackberry collapse", to which the current popular variety 'Columbia Star' appears quite susceptible. 'Zodiac' shows yields and fruit quality competitive with 'Columbia Star' but is later ripening and with different but still high quality flavor. 'Zodiac' has been released due to regional grower demand and because it provides an alternative commercial variety to 'Columbia Star'.
Technical Abstract: A new and distinct blackberry cultivar that originated from seed produced from a cross between the thornless maternal blackberry plant ‘ORUS 2707-1’ (unpatented) and the thornless paternal blackberry plant ‘ORUS 2785-2’ (unpatented)). This new blackberry cultivar can be distinguished by its high yields of small-to-medium sized, uniformly shaped, glossy, and distinctly conical berries that can be machine harvested with good firmness and quality for a trailing type of blackberry. The berries are well suited for processing, with an excellent flavor characterized by mild sweetness, and a good sugar/acid balance. The new and distinct blackberry variety has fruit that are borne on vigorous canes which combine two distinct sources of genetic thornlessness (‘Austin Thornless, ‘Lincoln Logan’) from the respective female and male parent.