Blueberry Germplasm Screening at Several Soil pH Regimes. I. Plant Survival and Growth

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Chad E. FinnDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

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James J. LubyDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

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Carl J. RosenDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

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Peter D. AscherDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

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Thirty-three seedling progenies from crosses among Vaccinium corymbosum L., V. angustifolium Ait., and V. corymbosum/V. angustifolium hybrid-derivative parents, and `Northblue', `Northsky', and `Northcountry' were grown for 2 years at three soil pH levels at Becker, Minn. Iron sulfate and lime were incorporated to amend the soil to pH levels of 4.0 and 6.5, respectively; the native soil, pH 4.5, was the third pH regime. The plants grew well in the low pH regime, poorly in the high pH regime, and intermediately in the native pH regime. Variation among populations was significant for all traits except vitality 18 months after being planted, and pH treatment affected all traits. The pH regime × population interactions were not significant for any of the plant performance characteristics. Nondestructive subjective and objective measurements were positively and highly correlated with total plant dry weight. Therefore, populations could be effectively evaluated for tolerance to higher pH without destroying the plant. Vaccinium angustifolium was not a general source of tolerance to higher pH, but some populations derived from V. angustifolium were tolerant of high soil pH.

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