Sources of Genetic Resistance to Red Ringspot Virus in a Breeding Blueberry Population

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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center, Chatsworth, NJ 08019
  • 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Small Fruit Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705

A group of 1031 genotypes representing 245 different crosses from a joint U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station blueberry breeding program was evaluated for blueberry red ringspot virus (BBRRSV) symptoms after 8 years of field exposure. Among 41 parents represented by 10 or more progeny, significant differences were observed in offspring BBRRSV expression. The species Vaccinium lamarckii Camp. (4x) and V. amoenum Ait. (6x) and the cultivars Woodard (6x) and Earliblue (4x) seem to have high frequencies of alleles for BBRRSV resistance. Significant differences were also found among 21 different crosses. The most resistant cross was `Elizabeth' x `Earliblue', which had a 23% BBRRSV incidence. Progeny evaluation revealed that none of the parents involved produced families in which all plants were resistant; hence, resistance to this virus may be under polygenic control.

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