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Fumiomi Takeda and Jorge Soria

). Layering is a rooting method by which adventitious roots are stimulated on the primocane while it is still attached to the stock plant ( Hartmann et al., 2010 ). Before the introduction of TC propagation, tip layering was a common nursery practice for

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D.A. Raworth and S.J. Clements

Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. cv. Willamette) primocanes were artificially defoliated to various degrees and at two dates in each of 2 years to simulate defoliation caused by the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch). The effect on primocane diameter, lateral length, yield and four yield components was determined. When defoliation occurred evenly along the length of the primocanes, and all floricanes and excess primocanes were removed in early Aug. 1989, yield was reduced 26% at 25%, 50%, and 75% defoliation and 55% at 100% defoliation compared with nondefoliated controls. The number of canes per stool, number of fruit per lateral, and weight per fruit were reduced when defoliation occurred earlier, in August rather than September, but the number of laterals per cane increased with early defoliation. The effect of increasing defoliation on plant growth and yield was generally nonlinear. When defoliation occurred in sections along the lower 2 m of all primocanes, and all floricanes and excess primocanes were removed in Nov. 1992, no significant differences in yield or three yield components were detected. The effects of primocane defoliation are not necessarily predictable, so T. urticae should be controlled before mite-induced defoliation occurs.

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Justine E. Vanden Heuvel and Kimberly Lewers

programs? The articles published here provide information on breeding, producing, and marketing repeat-fruiting small fruit crops using day-neutral strawberry, primocane-fruiting blackberry, and primocane-fruiting raspberry as examples.

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Fumiomi Takeda and Ann K. Hummell

A new trellis system called the “rotatable cross-arm” (RCA) trellis was developed to ease mechanical fruit harvesting of eastern thornless blackberries. The rotation of the cross-arm following bloom 1) positions all the fruit to one side of the trellis in a plane underneath the cross-arm and 2) permits primocanes to be trained to side without the fruit. To maintain productivity, the number of lateral shoots that arise from primocanes must be maximized. In this study, we examined the growth and development of individual primocanes within plants and the number of lateral canes that developed on them to decide which canes should be retained during the growing season. In `Chester Thornless' blackberry, primocanes trained early in the season produced more laterals per cane, had higher percentage of buds forming laterals, and were much larger in diameter than primocanes trained later in the season. Field observations suggested high sink strength and less light competition probably contributed to the increased productivity of early canes. These results indicated that the canes that become trainable early in the season must be retained for the success of the RCA trellis. Conversely, the primocanes that become trainable later in the season do not develop sufficiently and should be removed.

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Dr. John R. Clark and P. Manjula Carter

The chilling requirements of the University of Arkansas blackberry cultivars Apache, Ouachita, and Prime-Jim*, and the primocane-fruiting selections APF-25, APF-27, APF-40, APF-42, APF-44, APF-46, APF-52, and APF-53 were investigated using stem cuttings from field-grown plants. A biophenometer was used to measure chilling (hours below 7 °C) in the field and 12-node cuttings of lateral shoots were taken from the cultivars every 100 hours up to 1000 hours below 7 °C. However, only 500 chilling hours had occurred at the time of this writing, and the response of budbreak to higher chilling levels could not be reported. The cuttings were placed in a mistchamber in the greenhouse with a daylength of 16 hours and air temperature of 26–29 °C. Percent budbreak was measured weekly. The cultivar × chilling interaction was significant (P = 0.05). `Apache' and `Ouachita' showed little or no budbreak up to 500 h, indicating a higher chilling requirement. The chilling requirement of Prime-Jim was determined to be between 300 h and 400 h, and that of the APF selections appeared to be between 300 h and 500 h. The chilling requirement of APF-53 could not be determined since budbreak was consistent at all levels of chilling up to 500 h. In general, the primocane-fruiting genotypes appeared to require less chilling than floricane-fruiting `Apache' and `Ouachita', and they would therefore be more suitable for low-chill locations.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, James N. Moore, Kyung S. Kim, and John R. Clark

Floral initiation (FI) was studied both in greenhouse- and field-grown plants of primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberries recently developed by the Univ. of Arkansas. Root cuttings of A-1836 and APF-13 were dug from the field and planted in a greenhouse on 1 Mar. 1997. NC 194 was included only in the field study. Terminal apices were sampled weekly starting at 0 (just before emergence) nodes of growth on 21 Mar. Floral primordia were first seen at five and six nodes of growth in greenhouse-grown A-1836 and APF-13, respectively, 35-42 days after root cuttings were planted (DAP). Under field conditions, the same event was not observed until 21 May when A-1836 and APF-13 reached at least 20 nodes; NC 194 did not show evidence of floral parts until 10 July. Once FI occurred, floral differentiation proceeded uninterrupted until completion. Blooming occurred 32-35 and 40-45 days after FI in APF-13 and A-1836, respectively; NC 194 bloomed in late August. The first fruits of APF-13 were harvested 120 DAP. These findings demonstrate that PF blackberries form flower buds soon after a short period of vegetative growth. This information should be useful for implementing horticultural practices, such as programming of the harvest date.

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Jose Lopez-Medina and James N. Moore

Root cuttings of A-1836, APF-13, and NC194 primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberry (Rubus subgenus Rubus) genotypes were dug from the field on 31 July 1997 and stored in plastic bags at 2 °C for 32 days. On 1 Sept. freshly dug root cuttings, along with the cold-treated ones, were planted in pots, which were kept in a lath house for 4 weeks and then moved to a heated greenhouse under natural daylength. Cold-treatment hastened emergence of all genotypes. Transition from vegetative to floral phase was first observed in cold-treated A-1836 and APF-13 at the fifth node, with floral appendages clearly evident in both genotypes at the seventh node 45 days after planting (DAP). Bloom started on 26 Nov. and 5 Dec. 1997 and the first fruits were picked on 10 and 25 Jan. 1998 in cold-treated APF-13 and A-1836, respectively. Plants of cold-treated NC194 and of all non-cold-treated genotypes remained stunted with rosetted leaves, showing no signs of floral initiation until 150 DAP. These findings show that exposure to chilling prior to shoot emergence greatly promotes flowering in PF blackberries, and may have application in greenhouse culture of blackberry.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, James N. Moore, and Kyung-S. Kim

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM) were used to study the transition of meristems from vegetative to floral phase in erect primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberries [Rubus (Tourn.) L. subgenus Rubus] developed at the Univ. of Arkansas. Dormant root cuttings of A-1836 and APF-13 blackberries were dug from the field and planted on 28 Dec. 1996 and 1 Mar. 1997 to produce plants for use in a greenhouse study. In a field study, terminal buds of field-grown A-1836, APF-13, NC194, and summer-fruiting `Arapaho' were sampled on 21 Mar 1997 (before shoot emergence from soil), and then weekly from 14 to 28 May 1997. Flower bud primordia were first observed at five and six nodes of growth in greenhouse-grown A-1836 and APF-13 plants, respectively, 35 to 42 days after root cuttings were planted (DAP). Under field conditions, floral primordia were not observed until 21 May when A-1836 and APF-13 had at least 20 nodes of growth; NC194 did not differentiate floral structures until 10 July. The developmental patterns of the vegetative apical meristem in the PF selections, both field- and greenhouse-grown plants, were similar to those of `Arapaho'. Opening of the terminal flower of the inflorescence occurred 32 to 35 days after floral initiation in APF-13, and 8 to 10 days later on A-1836. Field-grown NC194 bloomed in late August. The first fruits of greenhouse-grown APF-13 were harvested 120 DAP. These findings demonstrate that PF blackberries form flower buds after a short period of vegetative growth.

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Fumiomi Takeda, Ann K. Hummell, and Donald L. Peterson

A study was conducted to characterize vegetative growth of mature 'Chester Thornless' blackberry plants trained to the rotatable cross-arm (RCA) trellis in which up to six primocanes were retained. Cane emergence occurred from mid-April to late-May. The first (oldest) primocane attained a sufficient height to be trained in early May in 40% of plants, but younger primocanes could not be trained until late July. However, only 94%, 73%, 60%, and 42% of plants developed three, four, five, and six primocanes, respectively. In primocanes that were trained from 14 May to 3 June, eight or nine medium (0.7-1.3 m) to long (>1.3 m) lateral branches developed. Primocanes tied from 4 June to 16 July averaged less than six lateral branches that were mostly of medium and short (<0.7 m) categories. Primocanes trained after 16 July produced only two short lateral branches. The results indicated that training primocanes from mid-May to mid-June for 'Chester Thornless' blackberry on the RCA trellis would be advantageous to minimize labor costs.

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Jessica M. Cortell and Bernadine C. Strik

In Spring 1993 and 1994, mature trailing `Marion' blackberries (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus Watson) were pruned to 0, 4, 8, and 12 floricanes/plant. An additional treatment of 0 floricanes with early (30 cm) primocane topping and pruning was included. Primocane length was measured from emergence in April until growth cessation at the end of October on individual canes and for the whole plant. In January 1994 and 1995, cane cold hardiness was evaluated by controlled freezing. In 1993, plants without floricanes produced more primocanes and branches with an increased total length at the end of the season than plants with floricanes. However, there were no significant differences in primocane length among treatments in 1994. In all treatments, the absolute growth rate (AGR), on a length basis, of primocanes occurred in flushes of rapid growth followed by slower growth throughout the season. Plants without floricanes had a significantly greater AGR than plants with floricanes on five dates in 1993. In 1994, there was no effect of floricane number per plant on AGR of primocanes over the season and the growth peaks were not as distinct. When comparing primocane elongation rate at three phenological stages in 1993, plants with no floricanes had a significantly higher total primocane growth per day during fruit production and from harvest to length cessation. The following year, plants with no floricanes had the highest rate of growth before bloom and a trend toward greater growth during fruit production. After fruit production, there were no differences in AGR between the treatments. Plants with floricanes produced a second flush of primocanes, while plants with no floricanes produced only one flush of primocanes. Primocane length of the first flush (averaged for 4-, 8-, and 12-floricane plants) was significantly different from the second flush at all dates during the season except for the final end of season measurement date. Primocanes pruned at 30 cm did not produce significantly more branches than unpruned primocanes on plants without floricanes. Plants without floricanes produced primocanes that were significantly more cold hardy (lower LT50) in 1994 and 1995 than plants with floricanes.