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  • Author or Editor: Wendy K. Hoashi-Erhardt x
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Red raspberry genotypes (Rubus idaeus L.) were evaluated for resistance to root rot at two field sites in Washington state and in a greenhouse study. Thirteen raspberry genotypes were planted in two field sites naturally infested with Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi Wilcox and Duncan and evaluated over 3 years for growth and symptom expression. In greenhouse pot tests, 14 genotypes were inoculated with an isolate of P. fragariae var. rubi at three inoculum levels and evaluated for growth, root color, and symptom expression using a 1 to 4 rating scale. Eleven of the 14 cultivars were found to be susceptible or very susceptible to root rot in the field and greenhouse. ‘Summit’ and ‘Newburgh’ possessed high levels of resistance to the pathogen. ‘Cascade Bounty’ also showed high resistance to root rot in the greenhouse, but confirmation from a field study is needed. Subjective root ratings of greenhouse-grown plants correlated well with measurements of cane numbers and cane infection in the field. The greenhouse tests were useful in identifying resistant genotypes and very susceptible genotypes but did not always match field results. Observation of at least 3 years in the field was necessary to compare relative reaction with root rot among genotypes.

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DNA-informed breeding techniques allow breeders to examine individual plants before costly field trials. Previous studies with tree fruits such as apple (Malus ×domestica) and peach (Prunus persica) have identified cost-effective implementation of DNA-informed techniques. However, it is unclear whether breeding programs for herbaceous perennials with 1- to 2-year juvenile phases benefit economically from these techniques. In this study, a cost-benefit analysis examining marker-assisted selection (MAS) in a Pacific northwest U.S. strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) breeding program was conducted to elucidate the effectiveness of DNA-informed breeding in perennial crops and explore the capabilities of a decision support tool. Procedures and associated costs were identified to create simulations of the breeding program. Simulations compared a conventional breeding program to a breeding program using MAS with low (12.5%), medium (25%), and high (50%) removal rates, and examined different scenarios where MAS had diminishing power to remove individuals as selections reenter the breeding cycle as parent material. We found that MAS application under current costs was not cost-effective in the modeled strawberry program when applied at the greenhouse stage, but cost-effectiveness was observed when MAS was applied at the end of the seedling trials before clonal trials with a removal rate of 12.5%.

Open Access