Mummy Berry Disease Blight Resistance in Highbush Blueberry Cultivars

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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Rutgers Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center, Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019

Fifty-five highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars and selections were evaluated over 2 years for their resistance to the shoot blighting phase of mummy berry disease [Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi (Reade) Honey]. Blight incidence in 1993 ranged from 1% to 78% and differences among cultivars were significant. In 1994, infection levels were lower and ranged from 0% to 43%, again with significant differences among the entries. Several cultivars exhibited mummy berry blight resistance in both years. Ranking most resistant to less resistant were `Jersey', `Elliott', `Bluejay', `Duke', `Stanley', `Darrow', `Meader', and `Angola'. Among the cultivars consistently blightsusceptible were `Bluehaven', `Bluegold', `Northblue', `Croatan', `Northsky', `Sierra', `Harrison', `Coville', and `Murphy'. The consistent resistant reaction of certain cultivars indicates that they may be suitable as parents for introducing resistance into a breeding program. The evaluation methodology developed in these tests should be useful in screening germplasm for new sources of resistance and evaluating segregating progeny from crosses.

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