Date of 50% anthesis, date of 50% fruit ripening, length of fruit development period, fruit size, flavor, scar and color were determined for random samples of V. darrowi Camp, V. elliottii (Chapm.) Small, V. fuscatum Ait., and V. myrsinites Lam. growing in their native habitats in Alachua County, Florida. Mean berry weight ranged from 25.1 eg for V. fuscatum to 17.8 eg for V. myrsinites. V. elliottii flowered and ripened early, with only 60 days from flowering to ripening for 5 plants. V. myrsinites and V. darrowi flowered late, about 1 to 2 weeks after commercial V. ashei Reade, but ripened with V. ashei. Fruit ranged from shiny black to moderately glaucous for V. elliottii and V. darrowi but was black for V. fuscatum and V. myrsinites. Variance analysis suggested that selecting the best clone within a species is almost as important as selecting the best species in breeding most traits.
Progenies and clones of interspecific hybrid blueberries were evaluated for annual fraction of canopy volume (FCYV) and for difference in fraction of canopy volume between control and stressed plants [FCYV(C) - FCYV(S)] in a moderate water-deficit environment. The FCYV(C) - FCYV(S) data were used to determine combining ability effects. In addition, physiological processes of attached leaves of the clones were monitored with a portable photosynthesis apparatus. Specific combining ability (SCA) effects were significant for FCYV(C) - FCYV(S). The clone with the lowest mean for FCYV(C) - FCYV(S) was US75, a hybrid of Vaccinium darrowi Camp × V. corymbosum L. Clone JU64 (V. myrsinites Lamark × V. angustifolium Aiton) also had a low FCYV(C) - FCYV(S) mean, and its two progenies (JU64 × JU11 and G362 × JU64) had low progeny means. Stomatal conductance was lowered when blueberries were exposed to atmospheric and/or soil moisture stress that resulted in lower transpiration and photosynthesis and increased or equal water-use efficiencies (WUE). Blueberry plants adjusted to moisture stress as the season progressed by lowering stomatal conductance and increasing WUE. In particular, stressed plants of US75 and JU64 had equal or higher WUE values than control plants. US226 was the most drought-susceptible clone in the study, and its stomata did not appear to be as responsive to moisture stress as the other clones. Breeding for higher WUE in a dry environment appears possible with the germplasm used in this study.
Pollen germination differed significantly between and within 3 interspecific hybrid populations and their parents. Pollen germination of populations of ‘Sharpblue’ (Vaccinium X sp.) × V. myrsinites Lamark (38%) and ‘Sharpblue’ × V. darrowi Camp (33%) was lower than mid-parent means of 45% and 37%, respectively. ‘Avonblue’ × V. myrsinites averaged higher in pollen germination than the mid-parent, 42% vs. 32%. Pollen germination of ‘Sharpblue’ × V. myrsinites hybrids varied most in pollen germination, ‘Avonblue’ × V. myrsinites hybrids least, and ‘Sharpblue’ × V. darrowi hybrids intermediate.
Data from a four-parent diallel, involving one highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) clone and three interspecific hybrids grown on mineral soil unamended with organic matter, were analyzed to determine combining ability effects for six traits: plant size, berry size, the number of days between flowering and fruiting (# DBF&F), the ratio of total fruit weight to canopy volume (TFW: CYV), days to fruit ripe, and yield. General combining ability effects were significant for all characters tested, except yield and berry size in 1984. Specific combining ability effects were significant for plant size in 1983, #DBF&F in 1984, TFW: CYV in 1984, and berry size in 1985. Vigorous and productive highbush cultivars can be developed for mineral soils by using the interspecific clones from this study and their selected recombinant to combine the genes for plant vigor with the high-quality fruit traits of highbush cultivars.
. angustifolium , V. elliottii , V . myrsinites , V. pallidum , V. tenellum , V. fuscatum , V. constablaei , and V. arboreum , in addition to the genetic contributions from V. corymbosum , V. darrowii , and V. virgatum that are also found in the
Adaptation to upland soils was investigated in a diallel study involving progeny of 4 blueberry (Vactinium) clones consisting of 1 highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) clone and 3 interspecific hybrids. Both general and specific combining ability were significant. Seedling progenies of NJUS 11 (V. ashei × V. atrococcum) and US75 (V. darrowi × V. corymbosum) grew well on an upland soil. Although not included in the diallel crosses, NJUS 64 (V. myrsinites × V. angustifolium) progenies also grew well on upland soil.
V. myrsinites Lam. is most susceptible to canker among the blueberry species native to Florida and survives by resprouting from underground rhizomes. V. darrowi Camp suffers less canker damage than V. myrsinites, some mature colonies showing little or no damage but others being nearly destroyed by the disease. Most mature V. darrowi colonies in the State have some stems cracked and swollen by canker. Old native plants of V. ashei Reade and V. fuscatum Ait. show light to moderate canker damage in many parts of the State but both species are more resistant than the previous two. V. elliottii Chapm. shows no canker over much of its range in Florida, but localized populations have moderate to high infection. Only one cankered plant of V. arborewn Marsh, has been found, and no canker has been found on V. stamineum L.
Two methods of evaluating seedling drought resistance in Vaccinium (blueberry) spp. were examined. Twenty interspecific populations were greenhouse-grown and either matric-stressed in a dry 1 sand : 1 soil medium or osmotic-stressed in a nutrient solution containing polyethylene glycol (PEG). In both tests, population means were separated statistically by shoot damage ratings. The correlation (r = 0.46) between the two tests was positive and significant. Progenies of clones JU64 and JU62, which are sister seedlings (V. myrsinites Lamark × V. angustifolum Aiton), were the most drought-resistant. The soil screening test appeared more accurate because it grouped populations with common parentage. These tests indicated that the progenies differ in genetic capacity to resist drought.
Pollen morphology of 10 Vaccinium species, 10 interspecific hybrids, and 3 colchicine-induced polyploids were studied using scanning electron microscopy. Size, exine patterning, furrow and pore size and shape, and general appearance were investigated. Although differing morphological features were generally lacking, some interspecific differences and variation within hybrid populations were noted. Furrow and pore sizes, and the associating opericuli were the most valuable characters. Some species had large furrows with large rounded pores and others had small furrows with insignificant pores. Exine patterning was minimal and, when present, generally occurred in the inter-colporate regions. F1 populations of V. corymbosum × V. elliottii had the greatest exine variation and the degree of exine patterning revealed a possible dosage effect. Exine patterns suggest that the ancestors of V. myrsinites may be V. darrowi and V. elliottii rather than V. darrowi and V. tenellum as previously proposed by Camp.
frequently burned pinelands throughout the state of Florida. It belongs to section Cyanococcus , and fertile hybrids with highbush cultivars can easily be produced in large numbers. The crosses between V. myrsinites and tetraploid V. stamineum were