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  • Author or Editor: Patrick P. Edger x
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The availability of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) genomic resources has increased dramatically in recent years. Some of these resources are readily applicable to strawberry breeding programs for use in DNA-informed breeding. Information about these tests and how to interpret them is dispersed through numerous manuscripts or in the laboratories that use them routinely. To assist breeders in identifying tests available to their breeding program and in implementing them in their program, a compendium of strawberry DNA tests was created. This compendium is available for download from the Genome Database for Rosaceae (https://www.rosaceae.org/organism/Fragaria/x-ananassa?pane=resource-4). This resource will be updated continually as old tests are modified and new tests are created.

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Developing new blueberry cultivars requires plant breeders to be aware of current and emerging needs throughout the supply chain, from producer to consumer. Because breeding perennial crop plants (such as blueberry) is time- and resource-intensive, understanding and targeting priority traits is critical to enhancing the efficiency of breeding programs. This study assesses blueberry industry breeding priorities for fruit and plant quality traits based on a survey conducted at commodity group meetings across nine U.S. states and in British Columbia (Canada) between Nov. 2016 and Mar. 2017. In general, industry responses signaled that the most important trait cluster was fruit quality including the firmness, flavor, and shelf life. Fruit quality traits affect price premiums received by producers; influence consumer’s preferences; and have the potential to increase the feasibility of mechanical harvesting, all critical to the economic viability of the industry. There were differences across regions in the relative importance assigned to traits for disease resistance, arthropod resistance, and tolerance to abiotic stresses. Our findings will be useful to researchers seeking solutions for challenges to the North American blueberry industry including development of new cultivars with improved traits using accelerated DNA-based selection strategies.

Open Access