Combining Ability for Plant and Fruit Traits of Interspecific Blueberry Progenies on Mineral Soil

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Fruit Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705
  • | 2 Department of Horticulture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Data from a four-parent diallel, involving one highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) clone and three interspecific hybrids grown on mineral soil unamended with organic matter, were analyzed to determine combining ability effects for six traits: plant size, berry size, the number of days between flowering and fruiting (# DBF&F), the ratio of total fruit weight to canopy volume (TFW: CYV), days to fruit ripe, and yield. General combining ability effects were significant for all characters tested, except yield and berry size in 1984. Specific combining ability effects were significant for plant size in 1983, #DBF&F in 1984, TFW: CYV in 1984, and berry size in 1985. Vigorous and productive highbush cultivars can be developed for mineral soils by using the interspecific clones from this study and their selected recombinant to combine the genes for plant vigor with the high-quality fruit traits of highbush cultivars.