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- Author or Editor: Angela Anderson x
The superb flavor of trailing blackberry cultivars, such as `Marion', is derived from Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schlecht. Wild R. ursinus offer a range of horticulturally desirable traits to breeders, from high fruit quality to improved cold hardiness. Current cultivars are derived from relatively few sources of R. ursinus, selected primarily for fruiting characteristics. A replicated field trial of 460 clones, representing 20 populations from southern British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, was established in 1994. Observations during the planting year have indicated that monitoring variability in the following reproductive traits will be useful in assessing diversity; budbreak, flowering, and fruiting date; lateral length; proportion of reproductive laterals; gender; flower and fruit number; and fruit size. In particular, there are clones that exhibit large fruit size (4 to 5 g), high flower number per lateral, and uniform fruit set. Analysis of these data will contribute to determination of relative genetic distances among the populations and enhance the understanding of the diversity available in R. ursinus.
Trailing blackberry cultivars, such as `Marion', can be traced to relatively few chance selections of Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schlecht. Wild R. ursinus offer a range of horticulturally desirable traits to breeders, from high fruit quality to improved cold hardiness. Cuttings from 460 plants, representing 20 populations in southern British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, collected in 1993. Rooted clones were planted in 1994 in a replicated field trial to assess morphological variation. A greenhouse study was also undertaken, with 10 clones represented from each site, in two replications. Preliminary data from the greenhouse and field studies show variability in the following morphological characters: Glandular hairs; cane and prickle color; cane diameter; prickle density; internode length; leaf color, size, shape and density; and senescent leaf drop and color change. Floricane morphology will be assessed in 1995. Analysis of these data will determine relative genetic distances among the populations and enhance the understanding of the diversity available in R. ursinus.
Morphological variation was examined in 20 populations of Rubus ursinus subsp. macropetalus from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon grown in a common garden. There was significant variability between and within populations for most traits studied. Principal component analyses separated populations along geographical clines for traits of horticultural significance. PC1 represented a general vigor component in all trials, and formed a negative correlation with elevation in four of five analyses (r = 0.60, 0.58, 0.50, 0.49; P < 0.05). Autumn leaf senescence tended to increase from west to east and with elevation. With higher elevation, there was a tendency for fruit weight to decrease, for later vegetative budbreak and fruit ripening, and for a shorter budbreak to first flower interval. From north to south, budbreak became somewhat earlier, cane spot susceptibility decreased, and budbreak to first flower interval increased. Characterization of this species will assist breeders to identify possible sources of cold hardiness, disease resistance, improved vigor, and acceptable fruit traits for the improvement of cultivated trailing blackberry.