HERITABILITY OF MANGANESE TOLERANCE IN RABBITEYE BLUEBERRY

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  • 1 USDA-ASS, Small Fruit Research Station, Poplarville, MS 39470

To determine whether manganese tolerance in rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) is heritable, a 10-parent diallel cross was produced. A 250 ppm Mn solution (200 ml/plant) was applied to a sand culture, of the progeny daily. Visual ratings (1 - dead plant - 13 - no Mn toxicity symptom) were made after 6 weeks. Shoot weight and Mn content of leaves were determined. Narrow-sense heritability estimates (h2) were 0.45±0.28 for Mn content, 0.49±0.27 for visual ratings, and 0.37± 0.21 for shoot weight. The genetic correlation between neither shoot weight nor visual rating and Mn content (0.11 and -0.15, respectively) was very high; however, the correlation between shoot weight and visual ratings (1.00) was extremely high. This suggests that visual ratings provide an estimate of Mn effects on plans equal to objective measurements of shoot weight. Though h2 estimates for Mn content and visual ratings were similar, the lack of genetic correlation between the traits indicates that tolerance to Mn toxicity is independent of Mn content. The high h2 for visual ratings suggests mass selection as the method of choice for improving Mn tolerance in a rabbiteye blueberry population.

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