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  • Author or Editor: Weijian Cai x
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The genetic control of flowering habit in many species of Fragaria has not been well studied. Identification of flowering traits and patterns for these taxa could be used in the quest for perpetual flowering (PF) genes and for the octoploids, broaden the genepool of available PF parents for breeding programs. As such, clones from the Fragaria germplasm collection housed at the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, OR, were evaluated to describe flowering habits in various taxa and identify PF clones. Flower presence was recorded monthly for 962 clones of 36 taxa from the first of May through October in 2015 and 2016 to determine flowering habit and pairwise comparisons between taxa were examined using Pearson’s Chi-squared test. Taxa with the largest percent of PF accessions were F. vesca subsp. vesca f. semperflorens, F. vesca subsp. vesca f. alba, F. vesca subsp. americana, and F. virginiana subsp. glauca. These taxa had similar flowering habits to each other but were significantly different (α = 0.05) from most other taxa in which the seasonal flowering (SF) trait was predominant. Fifteen clones that demonstrated the PF phenotype in both 2015 and 2016 were identified. Differing genetic controls have been observed for flowering habit in F. ×ananassa and F. vesca. Additional studies are needed to determine genetic control of flowering in other Fragaria taxa.

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Most strawberry plants have white flowers and red fruit. We developed a new strawberry selection with pink flowers and white fruit, and named it G23. Basic phenotypic data were recorded over years of observation and experimentation with the flower crown diameter, petal color, and rate of fruit set, as well as fruit skin color, flesh color, seed color and attachment status, fruit weight and shape, soluble solids contents, and firmness. We found that G23 bloomed with a stable pink flower and produced white fruit consistently with a relatively high fruit-set rate compared with its female parent, ‘Pink Panda’. G23 displayed high resistance to Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum) and anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.). It is also tolerant of high temperatures (up to 40 °C) and long-term drought. The asexual propagation ability of G23 is high, with ∼60 to 100 stolon ramets formed during the summer. In summary, this new pink-flowered and white-fruited strawberry germplasm is suitable for ornamental use, as a result of its remarkable flowering and fruiting characteristics. In addition, it provides opportunities for innovative strawberry germplasm for future breeding.

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