Inbreeding coefficients were calculated for highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars based on a tetrasomic inheritance model. This model yielded lower inbreeding coefficients than previous calculations based on a disomic tetraploid inheritance model. Recent trends in breeding have resulted in significant use of V. darrowi Camp as a source of low-chilling germplasm for use in the southern United States. There is also a trend toward increased inbreeding in several crosses from which recently released cultivars have been derived. Increased inbreeding coefficients do not represent a detrimental situation in blueberry per se.
Native highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) from the flatwoods of Alachua County (North-central), Florida and from Highlands County (Central peninsula) were surveyed for chromosome number and crossability with breeding lines derived from northern highbush cultivars. The Alachua County population was predominately tetraploid; a diploid component differed in leaf serration and glandulation. Tetraploid plants were fully cross-fertile with highbush cultivars and breeding lines. Diploid plants from the Alachua County population were cross fertile with both V. elliottii and V. darrowi. V. corymbosum from Highlands County was diploid.
Diploid plants in Vaccinium section Cyanococcus, including plants of V. darrowi Camp, V. atrococcum. Heller (diploid V. corymbosum L.), a V. atrococcum × V. darrowi F1 hybrid, and a V. atrococcum × V. elliottii Chapmn. F1 hybrid, were hand pollinated in a greenhouse with pollen from diploid V. arboreum Marsh. (Section Batodendron). The resulting seeds were germinated and the seedlings were transplanted to a high-density field nursery. Forty of these F1 intersectional hybrids were selected after 2 1/2 years and transplanted to a 1.5 × 4-m spacing. Most of these plants were vigorous and flowered heavily in subsequent years, but only a small percentage of the flowers produced fruit. In 1990, however, >4000 berries were harvested from the 35 surviving plants. Open-pollinated seed from a much smaller number of berries was planted in Dec. 1987; these seeds produced ≈200 seedlings, some of which had moderate to high fruit set in a field nursery in 1989. Six of these seedlings, which were selected for high vigor, high fruit set, and characteristics intermediate between section Cyanococcus and section Batodendron, had fruit set ranging from 19.4% to 92.7% when pollinated with pollen from tetraploid V. corymbosum cultivars. One of the six seedlings was highly self-fruitful, and some intercrosses among the six seedlings produced much viable seed. Large-scale introgression of V. arboreum genes into tetraploid highbush cultivars likely will be possible by the methods used in this study.
Morphological characteristics of many derivatives from Vaccinium arboreum Marsh × Vaccinium section Cyanococcus crosses were studied. The purpose of the study was to determine if V. arboreum traits were being inherited and expressed in hybrid progeny and to identify characteristics that would enable hybrid field identification. This study focused on the F1 hybrids of V. darrowi Camp × V. arboreum (F1 hybrids) and the open-pollinated progeny of the F1 hybrids [mother is known (MIK)]. Also included in the study were the parents: V. darrowi, V. arboreum, and V. corymbosum L. (pollen parent of the MIKs). Many leaf, flower, and fruit characteristics were measured for all five taxa. Leaf characteristics included length, width, and presence or absence of stalked glands, pubescence, and marginal bump glands. The floral characteristics measured were corolla length and width, corolla aperture, pedicel length, peduncle length, bracteole length and width, and the presence or absence of anther awns and bracteoles. Berry and seed mass were the fruit characteristics investigated. Four unique V. arboreum traits were found to be expressed in the F1 and MIK hybrid populations. These were the presence of anther awns, large seed size, bracteole shape, and marginal glands. These traits should permit field identification of hybrid plants.
Resistance to blighting by Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi (Reade) Honey was evaluated under greenhouse conditions in multiple populations of the diploid species Vaccinium boreale Hall & Aalders, V. corymbosum L., V. darrowi Camp, V. elliottii Chapm., V. myrtilloides Michx., V. myrtillus L., V. pallidum Ait., and V. tenellum Ait., as well as in accessions of the polyploid species 4x V. hirsutum Buckley and 6x V. corymbosum f. amoenum Aiton. Significant species differences were found in mean blighting levels averaged over 2 years, with values ranging from 3.5% for V. boreale to 49.2% for 2x V. corymbosum, compared with 27.5% for the resistant 4x V. corymbosum check, `Bluejay', and 64.3% for the susceptible 4x V. corymbosum check, `Blueray'. Wild Vaccinium species may serve as new sources of resistance to blighting, if resistance can be transferred easily and horticultural type recovered.
RAPD markers were used to determine the level of heterozygosity transmitted via 2n gametes from V. darrowi cv. Florida 4b (Fla 4B) to interspecific hybrids with tetraploid V. corymbosum cv. Bluecrop. The tetraploid hybrid US 75 was found to contain 70.6% of Fla 4B's heterozygosity, a value consistent with a first division restitution (FDR) mode of 2n gamete production. Crossovers during 2n gamete formation were evidenced by the absence of 16 dominant alleles of Fla 4B in US 75, and direct tests of segregation in a diploid population involving Fla 4B. RAPD markers that were present in both Fla 4B and US 75 were used to determine the mode of inheritance in a segregating population of US 75 × V. corymbosum cv. Bluetta. More than 30 homozygous pairs of alleles were located that segregated in a 5:1 ratio, indicating US 75 undergoes tetrasomic inheritance.
`Gulfcoast' southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum × V. darrowi) plants were placed in 3 × 6 × 2.5 m net cages with one colony of honey bees per cage and one of three pollinizer treatments: “self (other `Gulfcoast' plants), “cross/highbush” (other southern highbush cultivars), or “cross/rabbiteye” (various rabbiteye blueberry cultivars). In addition to unlimited pollination, bee foraging was controlled on individual flowers by placing small bags over corollas after 0, 1, 5, or 10 visits. Fruit set, fruit weight, fruit development period, and seed number data were taken, as well as data to relate floral morphology to duration of bee foraging. All measures of fruiting increased significantly with increased bee visitation; the threshold for significant gains in production occurred between 1 and 5 visits. Ten visits generally provided a good approximation of unlimited pollination. Set, weight, and earliness of ripening was as good, or better, for fruit derived from rabbiteye pollen compared to fruit from self- or cross/highbush-pollination.
Mode of inheritance of cold hardiness (CH) in woody perennials is not wellunderstood. This study was undertaken to determine the mode of inheritance and gene action of CH in blueberry (Vaccinium section Cyanococcus). Two testcross populations (segregating for CH) derived from interspecific hybrids of V. darrowi (drw) × V. caesariense (csr) were used. Plants were cold-acclimated by a 4-week exposure to 4°C. Bud CH (LT50) was defined as the temperature causing 50% injury (visual) when subjected to controlled freeze–thaw. Results show that the drw and csr parents had an LT50 of –13° and –20°C, respectively. The F1 population exhibited mean LT50 of –14.7°C. The csr and drw testcross populations had a mean LT50 of –18° (39 individuals) and –14°C (33 individuals), respectively. Individuals of each population were distributed between parental values with center of distribution skewed toward the testcross parent. Since individuals having LT50s as same as the recurrent parents were present in each population of only 33–39 plants, data suggest that CH is determined by relatively few genes. To determine gene action, the estimates for various genetic parameters (calculated from joint scaling test) were used in generation means analysis to test various models. Results indicate that CH in blueberry can be best explained by simple-additive dominance model, whereas models including epistatic components did not satisfactorily explain the data.
To determine if blueberry shoestring virus (BBSSV) is absent in the southern United States due to resistance of cultivars, we mechanically and rub-inoculated 1-year-old rooted microshoots of nine cultivars representing southern rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei Reade), southern highbush (hybrids of V. corymbosum and V. darrowi Camp), and northern highbush (V. corymbosum L.). Leaves were sampled from plants, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay screened for the presence of virus over 15 months. Only a few individuals were infected after aphid inoculation, but many northern and southern cultivars became infected after mechanical inoculation. Northern highbush `Elliot' (50%) and `Blueray' (46.3%) had the highest infection rates, followed by rabbiteye `Climax' (36.3%) and the southern highbush `O'Neal' (12.5%). The lowest rates of infection were found in southern highbush `Georgiagem' (2.5%), `Misty' (2.5%), rabbiteye `Brightwell' (0.0%), and northern highbush `Bluecrop' (2.5%). Since many southern cultivars were infected by the disease, resistance likely has not excluded BBSSV from the southern United States.
The organic acid composition of blueberries of three highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) cultivars, three rabbiteye (V. ashei cultivars and nine southern highbush (V. corymbosun hybrids) cultivars or selections was determined by HPLC. Species means off the individual acids (citric, malic, succinic, and quinic), expressed as a percentage of total acid, formed profiles or patterns that are thought to be characteristic of the species. Citric (75%) was the predominant acid in highbush fruit with lesser percentages of succinic (13%), quinic (9.6%), and malic (2.7%). The percent composition of rabbiteye berries [quinic (49%), succinic (39%), citric (6.7%), malic (5%)] was distinctly different from highbush. The acid profile of southern highbush fruit reflected their V. corymbosum heritage with an acid profile similar to that of highbush. When related to a clone's pedigree, these results suggest that organic acid profiles may be a useful screening tool for studying the contribution of southeastern native species such as V. darrowi or V. ashei to the inheritance of organic acids.