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S. Serce and J.F. Hancock

A common complaint with day-neutral strawberries is that they perform poorly in mid-summer heat. Since most modern day-neutral cultivars are derived from the same Fragaria virginiana ssp. glauca clone from Utah, we felt it prudent to search for alternate sources of day-neutrality that were more heat-tolerant. We compared the sexual and vegetative performance of nine F. virginiana clones from a wide range of environments including the Utah site, and four F. × ananassa day-neutral types (`Aromas', `Fort Laramie', `Ogallala', and `Tribute') under constant temperatures of 18, 22, 26, and 30 °C and 12-h days. `Aromas' and `Tribute' carry the Utah source of day-neutrality, while `Fort Laramie' and `Ogallala' are old cultivars that have a different, complex background. After a 4-week period of acclimation, we counted the number of crowns, inflorescences, flowers, stolons, and daughter plants that emerged over a 10-week period, and measured the dry weights of component parts. ANOVA tables revealed that temperature regime (T), genotypes (G), and T*G were significant for flower number (FLN) and total dry matter accumulation, while species and T*G were significant for daughter plant number (DPN). Mean FLNs across the four temperatures were 6.8, 3.7, 3.3, and 1.2, while mean DPNs were 0.7, 0.9, 0.7, and 1.8. F. virginiana clones averaged 3.8 FLNs and 1.8 DPNs, while the F. × ananassa clones averaged 4.1 FLNs and 0.2 DPNs. There was generally more variability among the F. virginiana clones than the F. × ananassa clones, but the F. × ananassa cultivars, `Fort Laramie' and `Ogallala', performed best at 30 °C. The Wasatch clone did not flower in any treatment, suggesting it is not day-neutral.

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C.E. Finn, J.F. Hancock, T. Mackey and S. Serçe

Twenty blueberry (Vaccinium sp. L.) families were planted in Michigan and Oregon to determine variability among families, locations and the importance of family×location interaction. The families were generated at Michigan State University from crosses among parents with a diverse genetic background. Seedlings were planted in field locations in Corvallis, Ore., and East Lansing, Mich., in 1995 and managed following standard commercial blueberry production practices with no insecticide or fungicide applications. In 1998-2000 the plants were evaluated for survival, bloom date, ripening date, plant growth and the fruit were scored for crop load, color, picking scar, firmness and size. All traits, except fruit color, varied significantly between locations. Plants in Oregon had a 36% greater survival rate and grew to be much larger, 80% taller and 104% wider, than those in Michigan. Families in Oregon flowered earlier in the year than those in Michigan but ripened at a similar time. Between locations, family differences were only evident for survival and fruit color. In Oregon, there were differences among families for all traits whereas in Michigan only survival, ripening date, plant height and width, and picking scar differed significantly. The family × environment interaction was not significant for crop load, fruit color and fruit firmness, so individuals selected on the basis of crop load, fruit color and fruit firmness should perform similarly in either location. There was a significant family × environment interaction for the other traits including survival, bloom date, ripening date, ripening interval, plant height and width, and for picking scar. Therefore, there is a need for individual selection programs at each location. Genotypes well adapted to Michigan may also do well in Oregon, but numerous promising genotypes could be missed for Oregon, if families are first selected in Michigan. The loss of numerous individuals due to winter cold may have reduced levels of variability in Michigan.

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K.S. Lewers, W.W. Turechek, S.C. Hokanson, J.L. Maas, J.F. Hancock, S. Serçe and B.J. Smith

Anthracnose crown rot of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne ex Rozier) has been a major disease problem in the strawberry producing regions of the southeastern United States since the early 1970s. Chemical controls are often inadequate, but use of resistant cultivars is seen as a credible option for managing this disease. Only a small portion of Fragaria L. germplasm has been screened for resistance to anthracnose crown rot. A core subset of the Fragaria collection maintained at the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Clonal Repository in Corvallis, OR, has been constructed to contain an elite group of native F. virginiana Mill. and F. chiloensis (L.) Mill. This collection, referred to as the “core collection,” has been characterized for many horticultural traits, including reactions to several common foliar diseases, resistance to black root rot (causal organisms unknown), and resistance to northern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood) and root-lesion nematode [Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb) Filipjev & Shuurmans Stekhoven]. Our objective was to evaluate the core collection for resistance to a selection of isolates of three Colletotrichum Corda species known to cause strawberry anthracnose, Colletotrichum fragariae A.N. Brooks, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Penz. & Sacc. in Penz. [teleomorph Glomerella cingulata (Stoneman) Spauld. & H. Schrenk], and Colletotrichum acutatum J.H. Simmonds (teleomorph Glomerella acutata J.C. Guerber & J.C. Correll). No Fragaria subspecies or geomorph was more resistant than any other; rather, individual genotypes within these groups were identified as sources from which resistance can be obtained. Collecting germplasm in areas of intense disease pressure may not be as beneficial as one might assume, at least where anthracnose crown rot disease is concerned.

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J.F. Hancock, C.A. Drake, P.W. Callow and S. Serçe

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J.F. Hancock, C.A. Finn, S.C. Hokanson, J.J. Luby, B.L. Goulart, K. Demchak, P.W. Callow, S. Serçe, A.M.C. Schilder and Kim E. Hummer

An elite group of 38 strawberry accessions representing all subspecies of the beach strawberry [Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Miller] and the scarlet strawberry (F. virginiana Miller) was planted in a replicated design at five locations across the United States, and evaluated for plant vigor, flowering date, runner density, fruit set, fruit appearance, and foliar disease resistance. Considerable genotyp× location interaction was observed for many of these traits. However, a few genotypes were impressive at all locations including PI 551735 (FRA 368) with its unusually large, early fruit, and PIs 612486 (NC 95-19-1), 612493 (Frederick 9), and 612499 (RH 30), which were very vigorous and had unusually good fruit color. Genotypes that were superior at individual locations included PIs 551527 (FRA 110) and 551728 (Pigeon Pt.) in Maryland for their large fruit, and PI 612490 (Scotts Creek) in Oregon which had extremely large fruit, superior color, firmness, and flavor. The PIs 612495 (LH 50-4), 612498 (RH 23), and 612499 (RH 30) performed well as day neutrals at multiple sites.