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Open access

P. M. Lyrene

Abstract

Ten colonies of Vaccinium darrowi Camp were sampled at each of 9 sites in the Florida panhandle and 6 sites in and around the Ocala National Forest in the central Florida peninsula. The colonies averaged 53 cm tall in the panhandle, with leaves 9.8 mm long and 4.1 mm wide. By contrast, colonies in the peninsula averaged 136 cm tall—well outside the range described for the species—with leaves 12.7 mm long and 5.7 mm wide. The species was diploid and entirely evergreen in both regions. In the central Florida peninsula, natural hybrids between V. darrowi and a 3-m tall, deciduous, diploid race of highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) are common where streams and lakes border the dry scrub habitat of V. darrowi. The robust form of V. darrowi in the Florida peninsula may have evolved from the petite form in the panhandle as a result of introgression from the highbush coupled with selection for characteristics that enhance survival on the deep, xeric sands of the peninsula. V. darrowi from the central peninsula has characteristics that make it valuable in breeding blueberry cultivars.

Open access

J. L. Perry and P. M. Lyrene

Abstract

Three diploid taxons (Vaccinium darrowi Camp, V. elliottii Chapm., and interspecific V. darrowi x V. elliottii) were treated with various colchicine concentrations and treatment durations to determine the best method for inducing autopolyploidy in in vitro blueberry cultures. Shoot-tip cuttings were the best in vitro planting material for induction of shoots with increased diameter, an indicator of polyploidy. Tetraploids were produced at colchicine concentrations from 0% to 0.20%. The best treatment combinations were genotype-dependent.

Free access

Nicholi Vorsa and Richard Novy

Vaccinium darrowi (D) is a wild blueberry species with low chilling requirements for budbreak, and heat and drought tolerance. Breeding efforts to incorporate these desirable traits into cultivated blueberry (V. corymbosum) (C) would be facilitated with a better understanding of the genomic homology between the two species. An interspecific tetraploid hybrid (CCDD, 2n=4x=48) was used to evaluate genome homology and interspecific recombination. Pollen mother cells examined at diakinesis and early metaphase I exhibited an average of 4.6 chain bivalents, 11.4 ring bivalents, 1.0 chain quadrivalent, and 3.0 ring quadrivalents. This data most closely fits a chromosome pairing model in which there is a greater pairing affinity between homologues than homoeologues. An analysis of the inheritance of 14 RAPD markers unique to V. darrowi in 72 backcross progeny of the V. darrowi–corymbosum hybrid also supported the pairing model: Seven of the 14 markers deviated significantly from tetrasomic inheritance ratios, expected if chromosome pairing was totally random. On the basis of the cytogenetic and RAPD analyses, the genomes of V. darrowi and V. corymbosum are divergent from one another, with preferential pairing within genomes. This outcome suggests there may be difficulty in breaking undesirable linkages when introgressing desirable traits from V. darrowi to V. corymbosum.

Free access

Luping Qu and James F. Hancock

A tetraploid blueberry population resulting from a cross of US 75 {a tetraploid hybrid of Fla 4B [a selection of Vaccinium darrowi Camp (2n = 2x = 24) × `Bluecrop' [(V. corymbosum L. (2n = 4x = 48)]} × `Bluetta' (4x) was used to generate a genetic linkage map of US 75 by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. One hundred and forty markers unique for Fla 4B that segregated 1:1 in the population were mapped into 29 linkage groups that cover a total genetic distance of 1288.2 cM, with a range of 1.6 to 33.9 cM between adjacent markers. The map is essentially of V. darrowi because US 75 was produced via a 2n gamete from Fla 4B and only unique markers for Fla 4B were used. Therefore, all the chromosomes of V. darrowi could be represented in the map.

Free access

Timothy M. Spann, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and Rebecca L. Darnell

Experiments were conducted with V. darrowi and two cultivars of southern highbush blueberry, `Sharpblue' and `Misty,' to test whether V. darrowi and cultivars derived from it are photoperiodic with respect to flower bud initiation. Plants of each cultivar were grown under three different photoperiod treatments [long days (LD) = 16-hour photoperiod; short days (SD) = 8-hour photoperiod; and short days + night interrupt (SD-NI) = 8-hour photoperiod with 1-hour night interrupt] at constant 21 °C for 8 weeks. Vegetative growth was greatest in the LD plants of both cultivars. Flower bud initiation occurred only in the SD treatments, and the lack of flower bud initiation in the SD-NI treatment indicates that flower bud initiation is a phytochrome mediated response in Vaccinium. Previously initiated flower buds on the V. darrowi plants developed and bloomed during the LD treatment, but bloom did not occur in the SD and SD-NI treatment plants until after those plants were moved to LD. These data indicate that flower bud initiation in both V. darrowi and southern highbush blueberry is photoperiodically sensitive, and is promoted by short days, while flower bud development is enhanced under long days.

Open access

P. M. Lyrene and W. B. Sherman

Abstract

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.

Free access

Sylvia J. Brooks and Paul M. Lyrene

Fertility of F1 hybrids and their open-pollinated progeny was studied for the intersectional cross Vaccinium darrowi Camp × V. arboreum Marsh as part of a project to determine the feasibility of using V. arboreum to breed vigorous, drought-tolerant southern highbush blueberry cultivars. The 16 F1 hybrids that were studied were vigorous but very low in fertility. Second generation hybrids [MIKs (mother is known) obtained by open-pollination of the F1s] and MIK derivatives were extremely variable in vigor and fertility, but averaged far higher in fertility than the F1s as evidenced by pollen stainability and amount of pollen produced. F1s produced an average of 0.4 seedlings per 100 pollinated flowers when hand-pollinated in a greenhouse with pollen from V. darrowi, 0.2 when pollinated by V. arboreum and 3.4 when pollinated by cultivated highbush. Some MIKs that were crossed with other MIKs and with cultivated southern highbush were very high in male and female fertility. Female fertility was estimated in greenhouse crosses from fruit set, berry weight, number and weight of seeds, number of plump seeds per berry, and number of seedlings obtained. Male fertility was estimated by pollen stainability with acetocarmine and amount of pollen shed. Chromosome counts showed that three F1s were diploid and that four fertile MIKs were tetraploid. One MIK appeared to be aneuploid. Aneuploidy may explain much of the low fertility found in MIK populations. These results indicate that good progress is being made in returning the hybrid plants to cultivar quality in only a few generations of backcrossing.

Free access

Creighton L. Gupton, James M. Spiers, and Arlen D. Draper

Free access

Theresa Acquaah, D.C. Ramsdell, and J.F. Hancock

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.

Free access

Sylvia J. Brooks and Paul M. Lyrene

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.