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Patricio A. Brevis, Nahla V. Bassil, James R. Ballington, and James F. Hancock

The blueberry is a recent major fruit crop to be brought under cultivation; improvement through breeding and selection did not begin until 1909 ( Coville, 1937 ). The primary gene pool of blueberry consists of three species, highbush blueberry

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James W. Olmstead and Chad E. Finn

blueberry breeding program might take to enable selection for MFF. Short-term strategy Because the development timeline for highbush blueberry cultivars can take 10–15 years, adoption of MFF in the near future will require the use of existing cultivars

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R. Karina Gallardo, Qi Zhang, Michael Dossett, James J. Polashock, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Nicholi Vorsa, Patrick P. Edger, Hamid Ashrafi, Ebrahiem Babiker, Chad E. Finn, and Massimo Iorizzo

processed ( Brazelton et al., 2017 ). Development of new cultivars has played and will continue to play a major role in the growth of the blueberry market in North America and worldwide. In the last two decades, breeding programs have developed improved

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Jessica L. Gilbert, Michael L. Schwieterman, Thomas A. Colquhoun, David G. Clark, and James W. Olmstead

The University of Florida (UF) blueberry breeding program has been developing blueberry cultivars adapted to the subtropical Florida climate for over 60 years. During this time, many uncultivated Vaccinium species native to Florida were used as

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Gerardo H. Nunez, Hilda Patricia Rodríguez-Armenta, Rebecca L. Darnell, and James W. Olmstead

pseudo-backcross family ( Table 1 ) were transplanted to bench-top rhizotrons filled with peat. After 69 d of growth, seedlings were harvested as above. Since the pseudo-backcross family was of interest to the blueberry breeding program, individuals were

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Arlen D. Draper

The USDA blueberry breeding program was initiated in 1910 by Dr. F.V. Coville and has been continuous since that time. Plant breeders Drs. G.M. Darrow, D.H. Scott, J.N. Moore, and A.D. Draper have worked with SAES and private growers to develop the majority of cultivars presently grown for commercial production. In the South, major cooperators with the USDA include SAES in Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. Recently the USDA Station at Poplarville MS, has been instrumental in blueberry cultivar development for the South. Rabbiteye blueberry cultivars make up the majority of blueberry acreage grown in the region. A new type of blueberry, the southern highbush (SHB), has been developed by interspecific hybridization with various Vaccinium species. Late-blooming SHB cultivars have been developed that offer better protection from spring frosts and ripen earlier than the earliest rabbiteye blueberry. Genes required to meet future needs reside within native Vaccinium species. Progress has been made in plant adaptation, disease resistance, fruit quality, and season of ripening. There remains a need for greater plant vigor, insect resistance, and consistent production.

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Paul M. Lyrene

Breeding to adapt temperate-zone fruit to subtropical production areas has been a formidable objective because so many different characteristics have to be changed, most of which are controlled by many genes. Recurrent selection is the only breeding method that can accomplish the required wholesale reorganization of the physiology of the plant. The principles of recurrent selection, developed and tested using short-generation organisms like fruit flies, rats, and maize, have been applied to the development of low-chill highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) and peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] cultivars for northern and central Florida. These principles include using many parents per generation of crosses, minimizing the time between cycles of selection, and selecting simultaneously for all heritable traits that are important in the final product, with traits of highest economic importance and highest heritability being given the highest weight in selecting parents. Many characteristics changed during the breeding of low-latitude peach and highbush blueberry cultivars, including chill requirement, photoperiod response, resistance to various disease and insect pests, fruit chemistry, and growth patterns during a long growing season.

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M.K. Ehlenfeldt, A.W. Stretch, and A.D. Drape

A group of 1031 genotypes representing 245 different crosses from a joint U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station blueberry breeding program was evaluated for blueberry red ringspot virus (BBRRSV) symptoms after 8 years of field exposure. Among 41 parents represented by 10 or more progeny, significant differences were observed in offspring BBRRSV expression. The species Vaccinium lamarckii Camp. (4x) and V. amoenum Ait. (6x) and the cultivars Woodard (6x) and Earliblue (4x) seem to have high frequencies of alleles for BBRRSV resistance. Significant differences were also found among 21 different crosses. The most resistant cross was `Elizabeth' x `Earliblue', which had a 23% BBRRSV incidence. Progeny evaluation revealed that none of the parents involved produced families in which all plants were resistant; hence, resistance to this virus may be under polygenic control.

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Timothy F. Wenslaff and Paul M. Lyrene

Two clones of anthocyanin-deficient (AD) Vaccinium elliottii (2×, homozygous recessive, yy) were used as seed parents in experiments combining normal and AD pollen. AD gives a seedling marker to distinguish the pollen parent. In the first experiment, flowers were pollinated daily for one, two, three or four days. AD and normal V. elliottii pollen were applied on separate days. The last day of each treatment received the opposite genotype from the previous day(s). The first pollination gave as many, or more, seedlings as later applications but the number of seeds per fruit was higher with multiple pollen applications. The second experiment used pollen from normal V. corymbosum (4×) alone or mixed with AD pollen from the 2× clones. Results depended on the seed-parent genotype. There was no difference between treatments in the number of hybrids produced by W81-1, which tends to set fruit even with only one seed per berry. Only mixed pollen yielded hybrids from clone FL83-139, which was never observed to produce berries with only one seed; apparently the mentor AD pollen helps to set the fruit, thereby allowing the rare hybrid seeds to develop.

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Paul M. Lyrene

13 ORAL SESSION 2 (Abstr. 009-016) Berries: Breeding and Genetics