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Hermen Malik and Douglas D. Archbold

The potential for plant growth regulator (PGR) manipulation of `Chester Thornless' blackberry (fibus spp.) primocane growth was evaluated. PGR treatments included combinations of soil-applied uniconazole at 1, 5, 25, and 125 mg/plant and GA, foliar-applied one or two times at 100 ppm 3 and 4 weeks after a 25-mg/plant uniconazole application. Also, GA and BA were applied at 100 ppm alone or in combination one, two, or three times. Increasing rates of uniconazole reduced primocane length, leaflet count, and leaf, cane, and root dry weights. GA, applications reduced primocane length and increased branch elongation but failed to reverse the effects of uniconazole at 25 mg/plant, except those on branch length, leaflet count, and primocane dry weight. Only applications of BA + GA, increased both branch production and elongation and dry weights of some component tissues, while BA alone generally had no effects. Chemical names used: (E)-1-(p-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-1-penten-3-ol (uniconazole); N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (benzyladenine, BA); gibberellic acid (GA).

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John R. Clark and Alejandra Salgado

‘Prime-Ark ® Traveler’ (to be U.S. plant patented as ‘APF-190T’), is the world’s first commercially released, thornless primocane-fruiting blackberry ( Rubus L. subgenus Rubus Watson) with shipping-quality fruit. This development is intended

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Marvin Pritts, Eric Hanson, Joseph Fiola, and Mary Jo Kelly

Studies were conducted over eight location-years to evaluate the effects of rowcover material, time of application, and time of removal on `Heritage' red raspberry cane growth, flowering, and fruiting. We anticipated that rowcovers would accelerate fruit maturity so that more of the crop could be harvested before the onset of cold temperatures in autumn. In seven of the eight experiments, rowcovers either increased yields or accelerated harvest. With a March application, harvest began 3 weeks earlier, and August yields of covered plants were 42 times higher than those of noncovered plants. Responses were observed with spunbonded polypropylene and polyester covers, but not with polyethylene covers. Rowcovers placed over the row before primocane emergence and removed when canes were ≈50 cm tall resulted in the greatest plant response. The use of polyester or polypropylene rowcovers with primocane-fruiting raspberries appears to be economically feasible in most years in northern climates.

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Thomas E. DeGomez, Lloyd W. Martin, and Patrick J. Breen


Nitrogen was applied to red raspberry (Rubus ideaus L. cv. Amity) in the spring (March, April, and May) at 67 and 135 kg·ha−1, and 3 pruning treatments were imposed: a) pruning of dormant floricanes at 0 cm (ground level); b) pruning of dormant floricanes at 0 cm plus cutting back primocanes to 40 cm in mid-May; and c) pruning dormant floricanes to 20 cm. Date of flowering, time interval from flowering to fruit maturity, and fruit size were unaffected. High N (135 kg·ha−1) increased yield late in the harvest season, increasing total yield by 14% (8.1 vs. 7.0 MT·ha−1). Pruning back the current season primocanes increased the number of branched canes but reduced yield per cane and did not increase total yield.

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Neil C. Bell, Bernadine C. Strik, and Lloyd W. Martin

Primocanes of `Marion' trailing blackberry plants were suppressed by cutting them off at ground level in either late April, May, June, or July 1991 and 1992. An unsuppressed control was included in which primocanes were not cut. A single cane was removed from each replication of the five primocane suppression dates at monthly intervals from mid-November to mid-February 1991-92, and from mid-November to mid-January 1992-93. One-node samples were exposed to controlled freezing at temperatures of 4, -6, -9, -12, -15, and -18C in November through February. In December and January, the-6 temperature was replaced with-21C. After 5 days at room temperature following freezing, growing point, budbase, vascular, and pith tissues were evaluated for tissue browning on a 1 to 5 scale. The LT50 developed for each suppression date was compared to the control. July-suppressed plants were generally hardiest for all tissues. June-suppressed plants were somewhat less hardy than July-suppressed plants, while April-, May- and unsuppressed plants were comparable and least hardy. Cane tissues of July-suppressed and unsuppressed plants had a higher level of soluble carbohydrates than other suppression dates.

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Neil C. Bell, Bernadine C. Strik, and Lloyd W. Martin

Primocanes of `Marion' trailing blackberry plants (Rubus spp.) were suppressed by cutting them off at ground level in either late April, May, June, or July 1991 and 1992. A control was included in which primocanes were not cut. Four canes per plant were trained in either August or February, with all other canes being removed and measured. Yield data were collected in 1992 and 1993, after which yield components were measured. Cane diameter was greatest for unsuppressed plants and declined with later primocane removal date. Cane length was greatest for unsuppressed and April-suppressed plants. Internode length decreased and main cane percent budbreak increased with later suppression date. Cane number and total main cane length per plant were increased in April-, May-, and June-suppressed plants in 1992 and for April- and June-suppressed plants in 1993. Consequently, yield of April-suppressed plants exceeded that of unsuppressed plants in 1992. Yield of April-, May-, and June-suppressed plants exceeded that of unsuppressed plants in 1993. August-trained plants yielded 46% more than February-trained plants, primarily because of higher percent budbreak on main canes. August-trained plants also produced longer canes with more nodes and a greater number of fruit per main cane lateral.

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S.C. Myers

Micropropagated plants of `Heritage' primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were planted at in-row spacings of 100, 50, or 25 cm. Yield per unit area during the first season was positively correlated with initial plant in-row spacing. During the first season of growth, initial plant in-row spacing did not affect the total number of primocanes that developed but was positively associated with the numbers of primocanes that fruited. Yield per primocane, primocane yield efficiency, total nodes per primocane, and number of fruiting nodes per primocane were not affected by plant in-row spacing in the first year. Average fruit weight and fruiting primocane diameter in the first year were negatively associated with plant in-row spacing. Photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) penetrating the row canopy as measured in the first season was not affected by treatment. Treatment did not influence percentage of fruit exhibiting solar injury, shattering, or infection by Botrytis cinerea. Plant in-row spacing did not influence yield during the second and third production seasons.

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David G. Himelrick, Robert C. Ebel, and Floyd M. Woods

`Navaho' erect thornless blackberry plants were subjected to a combination of three primocane summer topping heights and two winter lateral length pruning treatments. Plants were topped at 91, 122, 152 cm tall, and laterals were shortened to either 30 or 61 cm in length. Treatment effects on yield and plant structure were examined for four growing seasons. Lateral length had little effect on yield and any pruning height. Yield generally increased with increasing plant height. The 122-cm height appeared to optimize yield while still allowing for manageable floricane architecture.

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan, and J.T.A. Proctor

Leaf removal, cane girdling, and 14C translocation patterns were used to study source-sink relationships of primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberries. Although the leaves in the reproductive zone were most important for vegetative and reproductive development, compensatory effects between the cane leaves were evident. When 14C translocation was studied in the reproductive portion of the cane, the lateral closest to the 14C-treated leaf was the major sink for carbohydrate from that leaf, independent of leaf position or reproductive development. Thereafter, partitioning to leaves and/or flowers or fruits above the 14C-treated leaf was related to leaf phyllotaxy 75% of the time.

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Pedro B. Oliveira, Cristina M. Oliveira, Luís Lopes-da-Fonseca, and António A. Monteiro

The spring shoots of `Autumn Bliss' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. var. idaeus; primocane-fruiting type) were cut on 2, 16, 31 July and 15 and 30 Aug. with the objective of delaying fruit harvest into the off-season under mild winter climatic conditions. Cutting shoots in August delayed fruit harvest until February and April of the following year, but shoot growth was weak and fruit yield low (4.8 and 2.1 g/cane). July cuttings delayed harvest until October to January with acceptable fruit yield (63.5, 52.8, and 26.5 g/cane for 2, 16, and 31 July, respectively). The differences in cane height and total node and fruiting node count between the three cutting dates of July were small, but there was a constant decrease in leaf area per cane from the first to the third date and a sharp decrease in fruit yield from the second to the third date. Vegetative shoot growth was less affected than yield when summer cutting was delayed until the end of July to induce a later harvest. Fruit quality always reached acceptable standards. This study confirms the practicability of using summer-cutting of primocane-fruiting red raspberries to induce off-season fruit production under protected cultivation in mild winter climates.