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  • Author or Editor: James L. Luteyn x
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Vaccinium meridionale (section Pyxothamnus), a tetraploid species native to higher altitude locations in Jamaica, Colombia, and Venezuela, is of considerable interest to blueberry breeders for its profuse, concentrated flowering and monopodial plant structure, both of which may be useful in breeding for mechanical harvest. In this study, tetraploid V. meridionale was successfully hybridized as a male with 4x V. corymbosum (section Cyanococcus, highbush blueberry). The first-generation hybrids with highbush blueberry selections were intermediate in morphology and notably vigorous. The 4x F1 hybrids displayed variable branching structure, dormancy, prolificacy, fruit wax, etc.; however, most appear to be deciduous to semi-evergreen, with small, dark-colored fruit. The F1 hybrids displayed good fertility as females in backcrosses to 4x highbush and these crosses have produced numerous offspring morphologically indistinguishable from 4x highbush at the seedling stage. Evaluations of male fertility found variation for pollen production and quality but, significantly, found some clones with very good shed, high stainability, and almost complete tetrad production. The fertility suggests that these hybrids, despite being derived from intersectional crosses, might be conventionally used without significant difficulty. These hybrids also have potential value for the nascent V. meridionale breeding efforts occurring in Colombia, South America.

Open Access

Vaccinium meridionale (section Pyxothamnus), a tetraploid species native to higher-altitude locations in Jamaica, Colombia, and Venezuela, is of interest to Vaccinium breeders for its profuse, concentrated flowering, vigor, and monopodial plant structure, all of which may be useful in breeding for mechanical harvest in blueberry. In this study, tetraploid V. meridionale was successfully hybridized as both female and male with 2x Vaccinium vitis-idaea (section Vitis-idaea, lingonberry). The resultant F1 hybrids with lingonberry were both 3x and 4x, respectively. These hybrids were intermediate in morphology and notably vigorous. Most appear to be evergreen, with small, red-colored fruit. The 4x F1 hybrids displayed good fertility as females in backcrosses to both lingonberry and V. meridionale. Pollen production and quality were evaluated as an indicator of male fertility. Most clones had good pollen shed and high frequencies of well-formed tetrads. The overall fertility suggests that these hybrids, despite being derived from intersectional crosses, might be conventionally used for breeding without substantial difficulty.

Open Access

Vaccinium meridionale (section Pyxothamnus), a tetraploid species native to higher altitude locations in Jamaica, Colombia, and Venezuela, is of interest to Vaccinium breeders for its profuse, concentrated springtime flowering and monopodial plant structure, both of which may be useful in breeding for mechanical harvest. In this study, tetraploid V. meridionale was hybridized successfully as a male with 4x V. macrocarpon (section Oxycoccos, American cranberry). The first-generation hybrids with 4x cranberry were intermediate in morphology and notably vigorous. The 4x F1 hybrids displayed a vining plant structure, increased flower bud numbers, and white campanulate flowers. The F1 hybrids displayed modest fertility as females upon selfing and backcrossing to 4x V. macrocarpon. Evaluations of male fertility found good pollen production and a range of pollen quality ranging from very good to poor. Hybrids functioned well as males in crosses that used US 1930, a V. meridionale–V. vitis-idaea hybrid as the female. The fertility suggests that these hybrids, despite being derived from intersectional crosses, might be used conventionally in cranberry breeding without significant difficulty.

Open Access