The performance of four California and 11 eastern cultivars of Fragaria×ananassa Duchesne in Lamarck, and 12 elite F1 hybrids of Fragaria×ananassa with F. virginiana Miller in their immediate background was evaluated in a producer's field with and without methyl bromide-chloropicrin fumigation. Averaged across all genotypes, plants in nonfumigated soils had 43% fewer runners, 18% smaller fruit, and 46% lower yields than did plants on fumigated soil. They also had an average of 27% fewer crowns, 49% more root discoloration, significantly fewer fine roots, and showed symptoms of the black root rot syndrome. The most commonly isolated pathogens from discolored roots were Pythium sp., Rhizoctonia sp., Idriella lunata P.E. Nelson & K. Wilh., and the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood). The performance of all genotypes was enhanced by fumigation, although the F. virginiana hybrids performed comparatively better than the other cultivars on nonfumigated soils.
Variation in 14 horticultural traits of native octoploid Fragaria L. from North and South America was examined in a greenhouse. Significant levels of variation were found for all but a few of the traits at the species, subspecies, regional and genotypic level, with the highest amount of variation generally being partitioned among genotypes. Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Miller was superior to F. virginiana Miller for crown number, fruit weight, soluble solids and seed set, while Fragaria virginiana was superior for runner production, peduncle length, fruit number, fruit color and winter hardiness. Fragaria chiloensis ssp. pacifica Staudt had the highest soluble solids and among the earliest bloom dates, highest crown numbers and highest seed set. Fragaria chiloensis ssp. chiloensis f. chiloensis (L.) Duch. produced the largest fruit and among the earliest bloom dates and longest peduncles. Fragaria chiloensis ssp. chiloensis f. patagonica (L.) Duch. had among the highest crown numbers and the highest percentage seed set. Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala (Rydb.) Staudt produced the most crowns and its fruit ripened earliest. Fragaria virginiana ssp. glauca (Wats.) Staudt were the latest flowering, had the darkest fruit color and the most flowering cycles. Fragaria virginiana ssp. virginiana Duch. displayed the most winter dieback, the longest peduncles, and the highest flower and runner numbers. No significant differences were observed in any of the examined traits between F. chiloensis ssp. pacifica and F. chiloensis ssp. lucida, or F. virginiana ssp. grayana and F. virginiana ssp. virginiana. A number of individual genotypes were superior for more than one trait. CFRA 0024 possessed unusually high crown numbers, was extremely early blooming and displayed multiple fruiting cycles. CFRA 1121 had unusually long peduncles and much higher than average values for fruit weight, soluble solids, fruit color and seed set. CFRA 0094 was extremely early flowering and had much darker fruit color than most other F. chiloensis genotypes. CFRA 0368 flowered unusually early and had among the largest fruit. CFRA 0366 possessed unusually long peduncles and the largest fruit of any North American genotype. CFRA 0560 and CFRA 1369 had an unusual combination of multiple flowering cycles and high runner production. CFRA 1170 and 1171 were unusually late fruiting and had high numbers of large fruit on long peduncles. CFRA 1385 and JP 95-3-1 had extremely high flower numbers, long peduncles and large fruit.
Four chimeric bialaphos resistance (bar) genes driven by different promoters were evaluated for production of herbicide-resistant ‘Legacy’ blueberry plants (73.4% Vaccinium corymbosum L. and 25% Vaccinium darrowi Camp) through Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Smith & Towns.) Conn.-mediated transformation. When the bars were used as selectable marker genes, different promoters yielded different transformation frequencies. Three chimeric bar genes with the promoter nopaline synthase (nos), cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S, or CaMV 34S yielded transgenic plants, whereas a synthetic (Aocs)3AmasPmas promoter did not lead to successful regeneration of transgenic plants. In addition, herbicide resistance in bar-expressing plants was influenced by the promoter strength. Under controlled environmental conditions, 3-month-old plants from six single-copy transgenic events with 35S∷bar or nos∷bar, as well as those nontransgenic plants, were sprayed with herbicide glufosinate ammonium (GS) at five levels (0, 750, 1500, 3000, and 6000 mg·L−1). Evaluations on leaf damage 2 weeks after spraying indicated that all transgenic plants exhibited much higher herbicide resistance than nontransgenic plants. Additionally, the transgenic plants with the 35S∷bar showed a higher herbicide resistance than those with the nos∷bar. After application of 6000 mg·L−1 GS, over 90% of the leaves from plants with the 35S∷bar and 19.5% to 51.5% of the leaves from plants with the nos∷bar showed no symptom of herbicide damage, whereas only 5% of leaves from the nontransgenic had no damage. One-year-old, field-grown plants from four transgenic events with the nos∷bar were evaluated for herbicide resistance after spraying with 750 mg·L−1 GS. Transgenic plants survived with variations in the level of foliar damage; in contrast, all nontransgenic plants died. This study is the first investigation of different promoters for engineering transgenic blueberry plants.