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Joseph A. Fiola and Harry J. Swartz

Raspberry cultivars and hybrids were screened for reaction to Verticillium alboatrum Reinke and Berth to determine the mode of inheritance of resistance and to assist in the development of resistant germplasm. Greenhouse-grown seedlings of an incomplete partial diallel of two black, purple, and red raspberry Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus progeny were root-dipped in a mycelial slurry and stem-inoculated with a conidial suspension of V. albo-atrum. Fourteen weeks after the initial inoculation, disease symptoms were observed in the seedlings. Disease symptom severity and percentage of black raspberry parentage in the seedlings were correlated (P ≤ 0.01; r 2 = 0.90). A similar significant (P ≤ 0.05; r 2 = 0.66) linear trend was found with fungus reisolation percentages, although isolation of the fungus from symptomless plants indicates Verticillium tolerance among genotypes in Idaeobatus. These trends, coupled with large significant general combining ability (P ≤ 0.01), suggest primarily additive inheritance of resistance. However, considering noninoculated control scores, the possibility of escapes, and skewing of populations, one may hypothesize a gene-gene model for symptom expression, with partial dominance of resistance alleles.

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Joseph A. Fiola, Robert Lengyen and Harry J. Swartz

A major objective of the MD/NJ/VA/WI Cooperative Raspberry Breeding Program is to develop new primocane-fruiting raspberry cultivars that are early, with large fruit size, and good fresh flavor, relative to the `Heritage' standard. Step I seedling selections were made and tissue culture-propagated. The Step III advanced selection trial, planted in 1993, consisted of two advanced selections, JCR-F1 [Geo-1 (Autumn Bliss × Glen Moy) × Heritage–red], and JEF-B1 (Amity × Glen Eagles–golden), with a `Heritage' check. The planting was a RCB (four replications), with 3-m plots, 60-cm plant spacing, on raised beds with black plastic mulch (establishment year), and trickle irrigation. The 1994 season started dry, and mid-summer was warm and wet, inducing an early harvest overall. JCR-F1 was >2 weeks earlier, 40% higher yielding, with 18% larger fruit size than `Heritage'. JCR-F1 fruit was tall conic, cohesive, and had good flavor; plant vigor was very good. JEF-B1 was 10 days earlier than `Heritage', had 40% larger fruit size, but was 25% lower yielding; plant vigor was also good. The flavor was described as banana and apricot. The planting will be fruited for multiple seasons for continued comparison.

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Rebecca M. Harbut, J. Alan Sullivan, John T.A. Proctor and Harry J. Swartz

The net carbon exchange rate (NCER) of Fragaria species, synthetic octoploids [SO (interspecific hybrids)], F1 (SO × cultivar), and first outcross [OC1 (F1 × cultivar)] hybrids were evaluated in both field and greenhouse conditions. Plants were grown in a field trial at the Elora Research Station in Ontario, Canada, for one season and then plants were dug and moved into a greenhouse where the trial was repeated during the next season. Single leaf photosynthesis measurements and light response curves were generated at different stages of plant development. Photosynthetic capacity of the species was related to the ecological background of the species with sun-adapted species having higher rates compared with the shade-adapted species. The Fragaria species and introgressed hybrids (F1 and OC1) had significantly higher NCERs compared with the cultivars with rates 28% and 23% higher, respectively. Species and hybrids also appear to have increased adaptability to both high and low light conditions. These increases in NCER may be a heterotic effect because NCER of the hybrids were consistently higher compared with the midparent values and in some cases, they were higher than the high parent. These results suggest that the introgression of lower-ploidy Fragaria species into the cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) may lead to increased NCER and light adaptability.

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Brent L. Black, Harry J. Swartz, Gerald F. Deitzer, Bryan Butler and Craig K. Chandler

The effect of altered red/far-red light environment on subsequent field performance of strawberry plug plants was tested. Two wavelength-selective plastic films were compared to neutral shade and full-sun control for conditioning `Chandler' strawberry plug plants before transplanting to a winter production system. The following year, plug plants of `Chandler', `Sweet Charlie', and `Allstar' were conditioned under the same treatments, with the addition of a continuous incandescent light and a short-day photoperiod, and plant performance was followed in the winter production system in Florida, a cold-climate annual hill system in Maryland, and in a low-input greenhouse production system. During the first year, the red light-filtering film slightly advanced fruiting in Florida. However, during the second year, the effect of the red light-filtering film was not significant, and a short-day treatment resulted in a greater reduction in runnering and increased early crown and flower development. For June-bearing strawberry plants maintained above 20 °C, altering the red/far-red environment did not consistently advance flowering.