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  • Author or Editor: Kim S. Lewers x
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Researchers developing new cultivars of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus subsp. idaeus L.) and black raspberry (R. occidentalis L.) observe progeny of breeding populations for several seasons to identify those that perform reliably. If a portion of any breeding population could be eliminated based on a qualitative character or molecular marker, resources used for that portion could be used for other progeny. Our objective is to identify such molecular markers for red raspberry and black raspberry. A black raspberry × red raspberry cross was made to develop a map of each parent, and an F2 population was generated to join the maps. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers derived from red raspberry and strawberry were used. The level of homozygosity for the red raspberry was 40%, and the level for the black raspberry was 80%. Severe segregation skewing was observed in the F2 generation and indicates problems with transmission. Our findings help quantify the relative levels of homozygosity previously reported for red raspberry and black raspberry. In addition, the severe skewing observed in the F2 generation provides a molecular perspective to the fertility problems previously reported for the black raspberry × red raspberry hybrids (purple raspberry). Since black raspberry is highly homozygous, purple raspberry has transmission and fertility problems, and black raspberry breeders have reported a frustratingly low level of diversity in this subgroup, development of a black raspberry map is expected to require twice the markers as for a red raspberry map, emphasizing the need for a black raspberry sequence from which to develop molecular markers.

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In the perennial strawberry production system, removal of the harvested crop represents a loss of nitrogen (N) that may be influenced by cultivar. Eight strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) cultivars and eight numbered selections grown in advanced matted row culture were compared over three seasons for removal of N in the harvested crop. Replicated plots were established in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and fruited the following year. `Allstar', `Cavendish', `Earliglow', `Honeoye', `Jewel', `Northeaster', `Ovation', and `Latestar' and selections B37, B51, B244-89, B683, B753, B781, B793, and B817 were compared for yield and fruit N concentration. Harvest removal of N (HRN) was calculated from total season yield and fruit N concentration at peak harvest. There were significant differences in HRN among genotypes, ranging from 1.80 to 2.96 g N per meter of row for numbered selections B781 and B37, respectively. Among cultivars, HRN ranged from 2.01 to 3.56 g·m–1 for `Ovation' and `Jewel', respectively. The amount of HRN was largely determined by yield, however, there were also significant genotype differences in fruit N concentration, ranging from 0.608 to 0.938 mg N per gram fresh weight for B244-89 and `Jewel', respectively. These differences indicate that N losses in the harvested crop are genotype dependent.

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A tetraploid blackberry population that segregates for two important morphological traits, thornlessness and primocane fruiting, was tested with molecular marker analysis. Both randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to screen a population of 98 genotypes within the population plus the two parents, `Arapaho' and `Prime-Jim' (APF-12). RAPD analysis averaged 3.4 markers per primer, whereas SSR analysis yielded 3.0 markers per primer pair. Similarity coefficient derived from the Dice index averaged over all individuals was 63% for RAPD markers, 73% for SSR markers, and 66% for RAPD and SSR markers together. The average similarity coefficients ranged from a high of 72% to a low of 38% for RAPD markers, 80% to 57% for SSR markers, and 73% to 55% for both. Comparison of the parents indicated a similarity of 67% for RAPD markers, 62% for SSR markers, and 67% for both. This is similar to a previous study that reported the similarity coefficient at 66%. Although inbreeding exists within the population, the level of heterozygosity is high. Also, evidence of tetrasomic inheritance was uncovered within the molecular marker analysis. This population will be used to identify potential markers linked to both morphological traits of interest. Further genetic linkage analysis and mapping is needed to identify any putative markers.

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Some raspberry and blackberry breeders are interested in using molecular markers to assist with selection. Simple Sequence Repeat markers (SSRs) have many advantages, and SSRs developed from one species can sometimes be used with related species. Six SSRs derived from the weed R. alceifolius, and 74 SSRs from R. idaeus red raspberry `Glen Moy' were tested on R. idaeus red raspberry selection NY322 from Cornell Univ., R. occidentalis `Jewel' black raspberry, Rubus spp. blackberry `Arapaho', and blackberry selection APF-12 from the Univ. of Arkansas. The two raspberry genotypes are parents of an interspecific mapping population segregating for primocane fruiting and other traits. The two blackberry genotypes are parents of a population segregating for primocane fruiting and thornlessness. Of the six R. alceifolius SSRs, two amplified a product from all genotypes. Of the 74 red raspberry SSRs, 56 (74%) amplified a product from NY322, 39 (53%) amplified a product from `Jewel', and 24 (32%) amplified a product from blackberry. Of the 56 SSRs that amplified a product from NY322, 17 failed to amplify a product from `Jewel' and, therefore, detected polymorphisms between the parents of this mapping population. Twice as many detected polymorphisms of this type between blackberry and red raspberry, since 33 SSRs amplified a product from NY322, but neither of the blackberry genotypes. Differences in PCR product sizes from these genotypes reveal additional polymorphisms. Rubus is among the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom, so it is not surprising that only 19 of the 74 raspberry-derived SSRs amplified a product from all four of the genotypes tested. These SSRs will be useful in interspecific mapping and cultivar development.

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Raspberries are a delicate, high-value crop with an extremely short shelf life exacerbated by postharvest decay caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers. European red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is the most widely grown variety. Yellow (R. idaeus L.), black (R. occidentalis L.), and purple raspberries (R. ×neglectus Peck. or R. occidentalis ×idaeus hybrids) are available mainly at local markets and U-pick farms. To compare the postharvest quality of the raspberry color groups, pesticide-free fruit from cultivars and breeding selections of red, yellow, purple, and black raspberries were examined for oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), phenolics, anthocyanins, soluble solids, titratable acids, pH, color, firmness, decay and juice leakage rates, ethylene evolution, and respiration. There were significant correlations between decay rate and physiochemical properties. Both decay and leakage rates were correlated with weather conditions before harvest, but each color group responded differently to different weather factors. There were no correlations among changes in color, firmness, decay, or juice leakage rates. All the other color groups were less acidic than the familiar red raspberry. Yellow raspberries had the worst decay rates but the best leakage rates. Black and purple raspberries, with the highest phenolics and anthocyanins and the lowest ethylene evolution rates, resisted decay the longest but bled soonest.

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Diseases affecting strawberries have been of major concern in recent years because of their widespread occurrence and potential for yield loss. Anthracnose caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum is one of the most serious disases of strawberry worldwide. Although chemical controls are being used to treat anthracnose, generating disease resistant plants is a more attractive solution to the problem because chemicals can pose a health hazard, have a negative impact on the environment and may only be moderately effective. Tissue culture-induced (somaclonal) variation provides us with one strategy for generating disease-resistant genotypes. An in vitro screening system was used to evaluate several commercially important cultivars, Chandler, Delmarvel, Honeoye, Latestar, Pelican and Sweet Charlie, and shoots regenerated from leaf explants of these cultivars for resistance to C. acutatum isolate Goff (highly virulent). Somaclones with increased levels of anthracnose resistance were identified for all the cultivars. The greatest increases in disease resistance were observed for somaclones of cultivars Chandler, Pelican and Sweet Charlie that exhibited 6.8-, 12-, and 4.2-fold increases in resistance, respectively. These studies provide evidence that: 1) in vitro screening can be used to evaluate strawberry germplasm for anthracnose resistance, 2) soma-clonal variation is influenced by stawberry genotype, and 3) generating somaclonal variants may be a feasible approach to obtaining strawberry plants with increased levels of anthracnose resistance.

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