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ASHS 2024 Annual Conference

 

Florida Pearl® ‘FL 16.78-109’ Pineberry

Authors:
Vance M. Whitaker Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Cheryl Dalid Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Luis F. Osorio Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Natalia A. Peres Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Sujeet Verma Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Seonghee Lee Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Anne Plotto US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, US Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA

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White-fruited strawberries have existed for centuries as white-fruited forms of Fragaria chiloensis cultivated by native individuals in South America (Finn et al. 2013). Hybrids of these forms with cultivated strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne ex Rozier) have been called “pineberries” because of the presence of a pineapple-like aroma. Newer cultivars with fruit size similar to that of red strawberries have recently emerged as high-value products in Asia. However, existing pineberry cultivars are not suitable for commercial production in Florida and many other production areas because of their low yield and small, soft fruit. Therefore, there is an opportunity for pineberry cultivars that are adapted for commercial production in Florida and other regions so that pineberries can be grown at scale and made available to the public.

The Florida Pearl® ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry (hereafter referred to as ‘FL 16.78-109’; U.S. PP33,477) has an attractive white color with a pink blush and red achenes when fully ripe under a variety of commercial conditions. The fruit have a sweet taste and unique aroma sometimes reminiscent of pineapple, peach, and/or apricot. Trials of the research plots of the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Wimauma, FL, at the Florida Strawberry Growers Association headquarters in Dover, FL, and trials of commercial farms in west-central Florida and southern Spain have been conducted.

Origin

In 2012, pineberries (cultivar unknown) were purchased in a market in Japan, and the seeds were extracted and germinated at the University of Florida GCREC at Wimauma, FL. One seedling was recovered with a small, white fruit, and it was given the experimental designation FL 12.65-2. Then, this selection was crossed as a male to FL 12.67-25, a naturally occurring mutant from the elite breeding population of the University of Florida with a nearly white internal color and unusually light red external color. The seedlings from this cross were evaluated by a field trial performed during the 2014–15 Florida strawberry season, and a white-fruited seedling with improved fruit size, firmness, and yield was selected and designated FL 14.29-62. This selection was crossed as a male to unreleased selection FL 12.90-53, which was chosen as a female parent because of its large fruit size, yield, and disease resistance. The seedlings from this cross were evaluated during the 2016–17 season, resulting in ‘FL 16.78-109’ (Fig. 1). This modified backcrossing and selection strategy resulted in a genetic background similar to elite red-fruited germplasm. A comparison with 10,269 FanaSNP array markers (Hardigan et al. 2020) showed 53% marker identity-by-state for ‘FL 16.78-109’ and ‘Florida Brilliance’ compared with 47% for ‘Florida127’ and ‘Florida Brilliance’. In all crosses between white-fruited and red-fruited parents, color segregated approximately 1:1, and genetic analyses confirmed that the white color was conferred by a mutation in one of the three homeologs of a MYB transcription factor regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in fruit, namely, FaMYB10-2 (Castillejo et al. 2020). During this same study, DNA markers were developed and have been used for subsequent pineberry breeding efforts.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Pedigree of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry. The female parent is listed on the upper side of each bifurcation.

Citation: HortScience 58, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI16951-22

During the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons, yield and fruit quality data were collected from replicated trials conducted at the GCREC. Field plots were prepared and maintained according to current commercial practices for annual strawberry plasticulture in Florida (Whitaker et al. 2022). Beds were spaced 1.2 m on the center and were 90 m long, 70 cm wide, 15 cm high at the edges, and 18 cm high in the center; furthermore, they were covered with a single layer of black, high-density polyethylene mulch. Preplant fumigation consisted of a 65:35 mixture of 1,3-dichloropropene and chloropicrin (Telone C35, Dow AgroSciences). Each bed contained two rows of plants spaced 38 cm apart within rows and 28 cm apart between rows within beds. All trials were conducted using bare-root plants. Five replicate plots (10 plants per plot) of each genotype were planted in a randomized complete block design at the GCREC. The two leading strawberry cultivars in Florida were used as standards in the trial. ‘Florida Brilliance’ (U.S. PP30,564) (Whitaker et al. 2019) was commercialized in 2018 and accounted for ∼55% of acreage in west-central Florida in 2022. Sweet Sensation® ‘Florida127’ (Whitaker et al. 2015), which is referred to as ‘Florida127’ (U.S. PP25,574) hereafter, was commercialized in 2014 and accounted for ∼30% of acreage in 2022. The trial was planted between 9 Oct and 11 Oct in each year; the commercial planting period ranges from ∼25 Sep to 20 Oct. Overhead irrigation from impact sprinklers was applied for plant establishment during daylight hours for up to 10 d after transplanting; thereafter, water and fertilizer were applied exclusively through a single drip tape.

All ripe fruits (with red achenes and pink blush) were harvested, graded, counted, and weighed twice per week from December through March. Fruits that were diseased, misshapen, small (<10 g), or rain-damaged were considered unmarketable, and the remaining fruits were weighed to determine the marketable yield in grams on a per-plant basis. Fresh fruit were transported by air-conditioned vehicles to the US Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, US Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, FL, once each month during the 2019–20 season for flavor evaluations by a trained sensory panel and measurement of the soluble solids content, pH, and titratable acidity (% citric acid equivalents) of fruit from the same field plots using previously described methods (Plotto et al. 2013).

Separate field trials were conducted during the 2019–20 season to determine resistance to fruit, foliar, and crown pathogens. Inoculation and rating methods for anthracnose fruit rot (caused by Colletotrichum acutatum species complex), charcoal rot (caused by Macrophomina phaseolina), Phytophthora crown rot (caused by Phytophthora cactorum), and Colletotrichum crown rot (caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides species complex) were described previously (MacKenzie et al. 2006; Seijo et al. 2011, 2022a, 2022b). The natural disease incidences for powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera aphanis) and Botrytis fruit rot (caused by Botrytis cinerea) were determined.

During all statistical analyses, blocks were considered fixed effects, and mean separations were only performed if genotype effects were significant. Residuals were checked for normality and homogeneity, and the percentage data were modeled with GLIMMIX using logit link functions and binomial distributions (SAS version 9.4; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC).

Description

‘FL 16.78-109’ is a short-day pineberry adapted to annual plasticulture growing systems for winter and early spring production. The plant is moderately compact yet robust. ‘FL 16.78-109’ produces fruit that are moderately firm, juicy, and conical in shape, with a medium green (colorimeter L* = 50.1; a* = −16.8; b* = 24.7) calyx that is reflexed. The fruit is completely white internally (a* = −2.5); externally, it has red achenes and a pink blush on the sunward side of the fruit when fully ripe (a* = 12.9) (Fig. 2). The degrees of epidermal and achene anthocyanin accumulation depend on the level of sun exposure, with lower levels accumulating during cooler, cloudy weather or in high tunnel production systems (Fig. 3). The fruit size is medium, but it is smaller than that of both commercial standards (Table 1).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Fruit of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry in Feb 2020 at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, FL. Photo credit: Cristina Carizzosa, UF/IFAS Photography.

Citation: HortScience 58, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI16951-22

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Fruit of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry in Nov 2019 harvested from under high tunnels on a farm in southern Spain.

Citation: HortScience 58, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI16951-22

Table 1.

Marketable yield and average fruit weight of ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Florida127’, and ‘FL 16.78-109’ at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) at Wimauma, FL, during the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons.

Table 1.

Trained sensory panels gave ‘FL 16.78-109’ sweetness ratings that were similar to those of ‘Florida Brilliance’ (Table 2). However, the sourness ratings were lower than those of at least one of the commercial standards on three of the four harvests evaluated. This is consistent with its lower titratable acidity compared to that of the standards on two of four harvests and its high pH on all four harvests (Table 3). Panelists detected primary flavors other than the standard strawberry flavor, reporting “peach flavor” and “fruity but not strawberry.” The low-acid flavor profile and fruitiness of FL 16.78-109 pineberry are atypical and not directly comparable to those of red strawberries, highlighting the opportunity to market this cultivar as a product that is distinct from red strawberries. ‘FL 16.78-109’ also had lower sensory firmness on some dates (Table 2), which is consistent with its slightly softer texture than that of the red-fruited commercial standards.

Table 2.

Trained sensory panel ratings (10-cm linear scale with the words “low” and “high” at either end to represent increasing intensity) for ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Florida127’, and ‘FL 16.78-109’ from four harvests during the 2019–20 season. Fruit samples from the same harvest and field replication were measured to determine fruit chemical attributes shown in Table 3.

Table 2.
Table 3.

Soluble solids content (SSC), pH, titratable acidity (TA), and SSC/TA for ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Florida127’, and ‘FL 16.78-109’ fruit from four harvests during the 2019–20 season.

Table 3.

Field Performance

During replicated trials, the total yields of ‘FL 16.78-109’ were approximately 75% of the commercial standards (Table 1). The yields were also distributed slightly later, with December or January yields often lower than those of at least one of the commercial standards. On-farm trials showed yields similar to those of the replicated trials (data not shown). During all trials, consistent pollination and conical fruit shape were observed, with the fruit size being generally larger in Spain than in Florida (Figs. 2 and 3).

The disease resistance profile of ‘FL 16.78-109’ is favorable, with disease levels similar to those of the more resistant of the two commercial standards for five of the six diseases tested (Table 4). However, regarding anthracnose fruit rot, ‘FL 16.78-109’ was more susceptible than both commercial standards, but it was not considered highly susceptible. This balanced disease resistance profile should aid the production of ‘FL 16.78-109’ in Florida and its adaptation to various environments and production systems worldwide.

Table 4.

Disease incidence and mortality for ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Florida127’, and ‘FL 16.78-109’ from field trials during the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons. Incidence of anthracnose fruit rot (caused by Colletotrichum acutatum) and Botrytis fruit rot (caused by Botrytis cinerea) are based on twice weekly fruit harvests. Incidence of powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera aphanis) describes foliar symptoms only. Mortality rates attributable to Colletotrichum crown rot (caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), Phytophthora crown rot (caused by Phytophthora cactorum), and charcoal rot (caused by Macrophomina phaseolina) were assessed at the conclusion of the harvest season or when mortality of highly susceptible individuals reached ≥75%.

Table 4.

Commercialization

‘FL 16.78-109’ was approved for release by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in 2020, and U.S. PP33,477 was granted in 2021. Plant breeder’s rights applications were filed in foreign territories. Information about nurseries licensed to propagate this cultivar can be obtained from Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc., 3760 NW 83rd Street, Suite 2, Gainesville, FL, 32606 (http://ffsp.net).

References Cited

  • Castillejo, C, Waurich, V, Wagner, H, Ramos, R, Oiza, N, Munoz, P, Trivino, JC, Caruana, J, Liu, Z, Cobo, N, Hardigan, MA, Knapp, SJ, Vallarino, JG, Osorio, S, Martin-Pizarro, C, Pose, D, Toivainen, T, Hytonen, T, Oh, Y, Barbey, CR, Whitaker, VM, Lee, S, Olbricht, K, Sanchez-Sevilla, JF & Amaya, I. 2020 Allelic variation of Myb10 is the major force controlling natural variation in skin and flesh color in strawberry (Fragaria spp.) fruit Plant Cell. 32 12 3723 3749 https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.20.00474

    • Search Google Scholar
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  • Finn, CE, Retamales, JB, Lobos, GA & Hancock, JF. 2013 The Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis): Over 1000 years of domestication HortScience. 48 4 418 421 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.48.4.418

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardigan, MA, Feldmann, MJ, Lorant, A, Bird, KA, Famula, R, Acharya, C, Cole, G, Edger, P & Knapp, SJ. 2020 Genome synteny has been conserved among the octoploid progenitors of cultivated strawberry over millions of years of evolution Front. Plant Sci. 10 1789 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01789

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacKenzie, SJ, Legard, DE, Timmer, LW, Chandler, CK & Peres, NA. 2006 Resistance of strawberry cultivars to crown rot caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides isolates from Florida is nonspecific Plant Dis. 90 1091 1097 https://doi.org/10.1094/PD-90-1091

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plotto, A, Baldwin, E, Bai, J, Narciso, J, Whitaker, VM & Chandler, CK. 2013 Update on sensory evaluation of University of Florida strawberry selections Proc Annu Meet Fla State Hort Soc. 126 247 250

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2022a Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding selections for resistance to charcoal rot caused by Macrophomina phaseolina Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 16:PF047. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2022/PF047.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Marin, M, Rebello, CS, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2022b Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding selections for resistance to Phytophthora crown rot caused by Phytophthora cactorum, 2020–21 Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 16:PF050. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2022/PF050.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Mertely, J, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2011 Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding lines for field resistance to anthracnose and Botrytis fruit rots, 2009-10 Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 5:SMF020. https://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2011/SMF020.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Boyd, N, Peres, NA, Desaeger, J, Lahiri, S & Agehara, S. 2022 Strawberry production 505 539 Dittmar, PJ, Agehara, S & Dufault, NS Vegetable production handbook of Florida, 2022-23 edition. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/CV/CV292/CV292-Djkcafg4zo.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Chandler, CK, Peres, NA, Nunes, MCN, Plotto, A & Sims, C. 2015 Sensation™ ‘Florida127’ Strawberry HortScience. 50 7 1088 1091 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.50.7.1088

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Peres, NA, Osorio, LF, Fan, Z, Plotto, A, Nunes, MCN & Sims, CA. 2019 ‘Florida Brilliance’ strawberry HortScience. 54 11 2073 2077 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14327-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fig. 1.

    Pedigree of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry. The female parent is listed on the upper side of each bifurcation.

  • Fig. 2.

    Fruit of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry in Feb 2020 at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, FL. Photo credit: Cristina Carizzosa, UF/IFAS Photography.

  • Fig. 3.

    Fruit of ‘FL 16.78-109’ pineberry in Nov 2019 harvested from under high tunnels on a farm in southern Spain.

  • Castillejo, C, Waurich, V, Wagner, H, Ramos, R, Oiza, N, Munoz, P, Trivino, JC, Caruana, J, Liu, Z, Cobo, N, Hardigan, MA, Knapp, SJ, Vallarino, JG, Osorio, S, Martin-Pizarro, C, Pose, D, Toivainen, T, Hytonen, T, Oh, Y, Barbey, CR, Whitaker, VM, Lee, S, Olbricht, K, Sanchez-Sevilla, JF & Amaya, I. 2020 Allelic variation of Myb10 is the major force controlling natural variation in skin and flesh color in strawberry (Fragaria spp.) fruit Plant Cell. 32 12 3723 3749 https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.20.00474

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Finn, CE, Retamales, JB, Lobos, GA & Hancock, JF. 2013 The Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis): Over 1000 years of domestication HortScience. 48 4 418 421 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.48.4.418

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardigan, MA, Feldmann, MJ, Lorant, A, Bird, KA, Famula, R, Acharya, C, Cole, G, Edger, P & Knapp, SJ. 2020 Genome synteny has been conserved among the octoploid progenitors of cultivated strawberry over millions of years of evolution Front. Plant Sci. 10 1789 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01789

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacKenzie, SJ, Legard, DE, Timmer, LW, Chandler, CK & Peres, NA. 2006 Resistance of strawberry cultivars to crown rot caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides isolates from Florida is nonspecific Plant Dis. 90 1091 1097 https://doi.org/10.1094/PD-90-1091

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plotto, A, Baldwin, E, Bai, J, Narciso, J, Whitaker, VM & Chandler, CK. 2013 Update on sensory evaluation of University of Florida strawberry selections Proc Annu Meet Fla State Hort Soc. 126 247 250

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2022a Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding selections for resistance to charcoal rot caused by Macrophomina phaseolina Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 16:PF047. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2022/PF047.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Marin, M, Rebello, CS, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2022b Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding selections for resistance to Phytophthora crown rot caused by Phytophthora cactorum, 2020–21 Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 16:PF050. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2022/PF050.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seijo, T, Mertely, J, Whitaker, VM & Peres, NA. 2011 Evaluation of strawberry cultivars and advanced breeding lines for field resistance to anthracnose and Botrytis fruit rots, 2009-10 Plant Dis. Mgmt. Rep. 5:SMF020. https://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/trial/PDMR/reports/2011/SMF020.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Boyd, N, Peres, NA, Desaeger, J, Lahiri, S & Agehara, S. 2022 Strawberry production 505 539 Dittmar, PJ, Agehara, S & Dufault, NS Vegetable production handbook of Florida, 2022-23 edition. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/CV/CV292/CV292-Djkcafg4zo.pdf. [accessed 16 Nov 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Chandler, CK, Peres, NA, Nunes, MCN, Plotto, A & Sims, C. 2015 Sensation™ ‘Florida127’ Strawberry HortScience. 50 7 1088 1091 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.50.7.1088

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitaker, VM, Peres, NA, Osorio, LF, Fan, Z, Plotto, A, Nunes, MCN & Sims, CA. 2019 ‘Florida Brilliance’ strawberry HortScience. 54 11 2073 2077 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14327-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Vance M. Whitaker Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Cheryl Dalid Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Luis F. Osorio Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Natalia A. Peres Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Sujeet Verma Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Seonghee Lee Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA

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Anne Plotto US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, US Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA

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Contributor Notes

We thank David Moore, Israel Cepeda, Ryan Batts, and Teresa Seijo for significant contributions of data and analysis, and Dr. Cecilia Nunes for providing preliminary information about postharvest quality.

Funding has been provided for this work by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the Florida Strawberry Research and Education Foundation, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

V.M.W. is the corresponding author. E-mail: vwhitaker@ufl.edu.

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