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Jose Lopez-Medina and James N. Moore

In an early study we reported the feasibility of propagating erect blackberries by floricane cuttings obtained during winter pruning. But how soon during the dormant season can the stem cuttings be collected? And, is a mist system really needed to promote rooting? Experiments were conducted to address these questions. Stem cuttings of `Arapaho', `Choctaw', and `Shawnee' blackberries were collected on two dates, 15 Nov. and 15 Dec. 1996, stuck in peat-perlite mix, and placed in two rooting environments, with and without intermittent mist. Data was recorded on 15 Jan. 1997. Percentage of cuttings rooted was affected by the cultivar-by-date and cultivar-by-environment interactions. Values of 98%, 88%, and 75% were observed for cuttings taken on 15 Dec. of `Choctaw', `Arapaho', and `Shawnee', respectively, while only 19%, 17%, and 45%, respectively, for cuttings of 15 Nov. Intermittent mist promoted higher rooting (85% vs. 31% without mist) and lower death of cuttings (4% vs. 45% without mist) only of `Shawnee'. Greater number of cuttings died when taken on 15 Nov. (21%) than on 15 Dec.(6%). These findings suggest that accumulation of chilling units is an important factor to take into consideration when propagating blackberries by floricane cuttings.

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Jose Lopez-Medina and James N. Moore

An experiment was carried out to investigate whether detached segments of floricanes during winter pruning of erect blackberries could be used as a source of propagating material. Portions of lateral branches from `Arapaho', `Navaho', `Choctaw', and `Shawnee' field-grown plants, subdivided according to their position on the cane (tip, middle, and base), and treated with or without 0.3% IBA in talc were stuck in peat—perlite mix under intermittent mist in greenhouse conditions. Differences in percentage of cuttings rooted occurred only for cultivars; `Arapaho' rooting the highest (99%) and `Shawnee' the lowest (83%). IBA improved volume of roots formed. Cultivar by position interaction effect was evident for volume of roots, percentage survival of cuttings after potting, percentage shoot formation, and dry weight of shoots and roots, with highest values for stem cuttings taken from the middle of canes of `Arapaho' and lowest for basal cuttings of `Shawnee'. `Choctaw' stem cuttings produced the largest shoots regardless of their position or treatment with IBA. These findings suggest that propagation of erect blackberries by floricane stem cuttings is feasible. This work might be useful to plant breeding, either for early collection of pollen or in controlled pollinations.

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Jose Lopez-Medina and James N. Moore

Root cuttings of A-1836, APF-13, and NC194 primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberry (Rubus subgenus Rubus) genotypes were dug from the field on 31 July 1997 and stored in plastic bags at 2 °C for 32 days. On 1 Sept. freshly dug root cuttings, along with the cold-treated ones, were planted in pots, which were kept in a lath house for 4 weeks and then moved to a heated greenhouse under natural daylength. Cold-treatment hastened emergence of all genotypes. Transition from vegetative to floral phase was first observed in cold-treated A-1836 and APF-13 at the fifth node, with floral appendages clearly evident in both genotypes at the seventh node 45 days after planting (DAP). Bloom started on 26 Nov. and 5 Dec. 1997 and the first fruits were picked on 10 and 25 Jan. 1998 in cold-treated APF-13 and A-1836, respectively. Plants of cold-treated NC194 and of all non-cold-treated genotypes remained stunted with rosetted leaves, showing no signs of floral initiation until 150 DAP. These findings show that exposure to chilling prior to shoot emergence greatly promotes flowering in PF blackberries, and may have application in greenhouse culture of blackberry.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, B.J. Murphy and J.N. Moore

Isozyme staining and SDS-PAGE of soluble proteins were performed using leaf homogenates from 6- to 8-month-old field-grown seedlings resulting from the cross of either `Heritage' or `Nova' raspberry with ARK-577 diploid blackberry, the latter used as the pollen-donor parent. Four enzyme systems were tested: ADH, PGM, MDH, and PGI. Of these, ADH and PGM did not show any activity; MDH was monomorphic in both raspberry and blackberry parents, with activity at the same migration distance. PGI was polymorphic in the two raspberry cultivars, showing three dimeric bands, but monomorphic in blackberry; the allele for PGI in blackberry being common to that allele coding for the most cathodal band in raspberry. This phenomenon, in addition to poor resolution of bands (due, perhaps to low enzyme activity) and evidence of accidental self-pollination in our populations, prevented us from positively identifying the hybrid offspring using isozymes. By SDS-PAGE of soluble proteins, two bands were detected that seemed to be unique to ARK-577 blackberry and were also expressed in some of the offspring, suggesting a hybrid origin of these seedlings. Morphological comparisons indicated that those seedlings possessing the two unique bands highly resemble the blackberry male parent, greatly supporting their hybrid origin. Unless additional analysis shows otherwise, SDS-PAGE can be used to identify Raspberry–Blackberry hybrids during their vegetative stage of development, and might prove applicable to other interspecific hybrids of Rubus.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, James N. Moore and Kyung-S. Kim

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM) were used to study the transition of meristems from vegetative to floral phase in erect primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberries [Rubus (Tourn.) L. subgenus Rubus] developed at the Univ. of Arkansas. Dormant root cuttings of A-1836 and APF-13 blackberries were dug from the field and planted on 28 Dec. 1996 and 1 Mar. 1997 to produce plants for use in a greenhouse study. In a field study, terminal buds of field-grown A-1836, APF-13, NC194, and summer-fruiting `Arapaho' were sampled on 21 Mar 1997 (before shoot emergence from soil), and then weekly from 14 to 28 May 1997. Flower bud primordia were first observed at five and six nodes of growth in greenhouse-grown A-1836 and APF-13 plants, respectively, 35 to 42 days after root cuttings were planted (DAP). Under field conditions, floral primordia were not observed until 21 May when A-1836 and APF-13 had at least 20 nodes of growth; NC194 did not differentiate floral structures until 10 July. The developmental patterns of the vegetative apical meristem in the PF selections, both field- and greenhouse-grown plants, were similar to those of `Arapaho'. Opening of the terminal flower of the inflorescence occurred 32 to 35 days after floral initiation in APF-13, and 8 to 10 days later on A-1836. Field-grown NC194 bloomed in late August. The first fruits of greenhouse-grown APF-13 were harvested 120 DAP. These findings demonstrate that PF blackberries form flower buds after a short period of vegetative growth.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, James N. Moore and Ronald W. McNew

Inheritance of the primocane-fruiting (PF) characteristic was studied in seedling populations of tetraploid (4x) blackberries (Rubus subgenus Rubus). Four selections (A-1836, A-593, A-830, and A-1680) and two cultivars (`Arapaho' and `Shawnee') were used as parents in a full diallel crossing scheme. Selection A-593 was used as the main source for PF due to its origin (`Brazos' × `Hillquist,' the latter an old PF cultivar). All parents except `Shawnee' have A-593 in their parentage; among the parents, only A-1836 fully expresses PF. Selfing of A-1836 resulted in 100% PF offspring, indicating that A-1836 is homozygous for this trait. Selfing of A-593, A-830, and `Arapaho' produced either a 35:1 or a 20.8:1 FF (floricane or summer-fruiting):PF segregation ratio, fitting a tetrasomic inheritance model under either random chromosome assortment (RCSA) or random chromatid assortment (RCTA), respectively, also suggesting that PF is controlled by a single recessive gene and that the parents are duplex (AAaa) for this trait. Selection A-1680 and `Shawnee' selfed did not produce PF progeny, but when crossed with the nulliplex A-1836, gave a 27:1 FF:PF ratio, indicating RCTA and that they are triplex (AAAa) for PF. According to these research, both gametic outputs (RCSA and RCTA) seem to operate in 4x blackberry. The intensity in expression of PF had a negative relationship with time to harvest, with those seedlings showing the highest PF scores producing a crop in early to mid-August. This knowledge will be helpful in implementing breeding strategies to produce PF blackberry cultivars.

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Jose Lopez-Medina, James N. Moore, Kyung S. Kim and John R. Clark

Floral initiation (FI) was studied both in greenhouse- and field-grown plants of primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberries recently developed by the Univ. of Arkansas. Root cuttings of A-1836 and APF-13 were dug from the field and planted in a greenhouse on 1 Mar. 1997. NC 194 was included only in the field study. Terminal apices were sampled weekly starting at 0 (just before emergence) nodes of growth on 21 Mar. Floral primordia were first seen at five and six nodes of growth in greenhouse-grown A-1836 and APF-13, respectively, 35-42 days after root cuttings were planted (DAP). Under field conditions, the same event was not observed until 21 May when A-1836 and APF-13 reached at least 20 nodes; NC 194 did not show evidence of floral parts until 10 July. Once FI occurred, floral differentiation proceeded uninterrupted until completion. Blooming occurred 32-35 and 40-45 days after FI in APF-13 and A-1836, respectively; NC 194 bloomed in late August. The first fruits of APF-13 were harvested 120 DAP. These findings demonstrate that PF blackberries form flower buds soon after a short period of vegetative growth. This information should be useful for implementing horticultural practices, such as programming of the harvest date.

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José López Medina, Patrick P. Moore, Carl H. Shanks Jr., Fernando Flores Gil and Craig K. Chandler

Genotype × environment interaction for resistance to the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) of eleven clones of Fragaria L. sp. (strawberries) grown in six environments throughout the United States was examined using two multivariate analysis techniques, principal coordinate analysis (PCA) and additive main effect and multiplicative interaction (AMMI). Both techniques provided useful and interesting ways of investigating genotype × environment interaction. PCA analysis indicated that clones X-11 and E-15 were stable across both low and high environments for the number of spider mites per leaflet. The initial AMMI analysis showed that the main effects of genotype, environment, and their first-order interaction were highly significant, with genotype × environment interaction due mainly to cultivar `Totem' and environment FL94. A second AMMI analysis, which excluded `Totem' and FL94, showed that the main effects of the remaining genotypes, environments, and genotype × environment interaction were also highly significant. AMMI biplot analysis revealed that FL93 and GH93 were unstable environments, but with opposite interaction patterns; and GCL-8 and WSU2198 were unstable genotypes with similar interactions that were opposite those of WSU 2202.

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John R. Clark, James N. Moore, Jose Lopez-Medina, Chad Finn and Penelope Perkins-Veazie