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S.P. Vander Kloet and J. Pither

Periodic prescribed burns of lowbush blueberry barrens promote high yield, aid in weed control, and reduce fungal and insect damage. Whether such prescribed fires should be set in the autumn or the spring has been a matter of some dispute. Previous research on Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton suggested some advantages to autumnal burning, but few data have been collected on V. myrtilloides Michaux. To evaluate whether time of burning affected plant qualities most favorable for mechanical harvesting, such as stem length and lateral branching, a series of experiments was conducted on V. myrtilloides. Differences in stem length, numbers of lateral branches, and buds per stem were nonsignificant among plants burned in fall vs. those burned in spring. In three of four experiments, however, fall burns resulted in the growth of fewer lateral branches. Furthermore, among the four experiments, growth responses were more uniform following fall than following spring burns. We therefore suggest that, where possible, fall burns should be prescribed for blueberry plants that will be mechanically harvested.

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W.A. Erb, A.D. Draper, and H.J. Swartz

Interspecific blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) progenies were examined to determine combining abilities and genetic variability for seedling root system size and shoot vigor and to establish whether a large root system is correlated with good growth when plants are grown on a mineral soil and exposed to a moderate soil water deficit. General combining ability (GCA) variance components for root system size and shoot vigor and specific combining ability variance components for shoot vigor were significant. US226, a tetraploid hybrid of V. myrtilloides Michaux × V. atrococcum Heller, had the highest GCA effect for root system size and the lowest GCA effect for shoot vigor. US75 (V. darrowi Camp × V. corymbosum L.) had the highest GCA effect for shoot vigor and was second in GCA effect for root system size. Comparison of the crosses containing G111 (V. corymbosum) with those containing G362 (V. corymbosum) indicates that selecting for the best V. corymbosum clone to start a breeding program seems as important as selecting the mineral soil-adapted parent. Root system ratings were highly correlated with total dry weight of field-grown plants (r = 0.89). The method used in this study to evaluate seedlings for root system size and shoot vigor could be used to eliminate the less vigorous plants from a population before field planting and to evaluate mineral soil adaptability.

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J. R. Ballington, W. E. Ballinger, C. M. Mainland, W. H. Swallow, E. P. Maness, G. J. Galletta, and L. J. Kushman

Abstract

Vaccinium species collected from the eastern United States were grown and fruited at Castle Hayne, N.C. Harvest season extended from 5 June to 22 Aug. Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. was earliest ripening. Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx., V. elliotti Chap., diploid V. corymbosum L., and tetraploid V. pallidum Ait. populations also contained very early- to early-ripening seedlings. Early-ripening seedlings were not observed in tetraploid V. corymbosum populations and reached peak ripeness around mid-June, about with ‘Bluecrop’. One tetraploid V. corymbosum population continued ripening into early August. Vaccinium ashei Reade populations from Georgia began ripening about 2 weeks earlier than Florida V. ashei or Arkansas V. amoenum Ait. populations. One Georgia V. ashei population was only slightly later than tetraploid V. corymbosum. The Florida V. ashei populations continued ripening into late August. The diploid species V. darrowi Camp, V. tenellum Ait., and V. stamineum L., were all basically late in ripening. The potential utility of these species in breeding for both early- and late-ripening Vaccinium genotypes is discussed.

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Luping Qu and Mark P. Widrlechner

needed to determine the conditions that are required to proceed from in-bud pollen release to stigmatic deposition and, ultimately, to effective self-fertilization. In Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx., Noormets and Olson (2006) reported that 18% of the

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Sarah K. Taber and James W. Olmstead

× velvetleaf blueberry ( Vaccinium myrtilloides ) crosses that resulted in smaller fruit size and later ripening compared with intraspecific lowbush crosses. Similarly, Gupton and Spiers (1994) found that SHB cultivars pollinated with rabbiteye pollen had

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Dongliang Qiu, Xiangying Wei, Shufang Fan, Dawei Jian, and Jianjun Chen

) lowbush ( Vaccinium angustifolium Ait., Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx., and Vaccinium boreale Hall and Aald.); 4) half-high derived from crosses between highbush and lowbush; and 5) rabbiteye ( Vaccinium virgatum Ait.) ( Caspersen et al., 2016

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Elliot H. Norden, Paul M. Lyrene, and Jose X. Chaparro

Vaccinium section Cyanococcus (Ericaceae) consists of diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid species ( Camp, 1945 ). Except for one diploid species, Vaccinium myrtilloides , whose native range extends from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island and

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Katherine M. Ghantous, Hilary A. Sandler, Wesley R. Autio, and Peter Jeranyama

of FC in cranberry. For decades, prescribed burning has been used in perennial woody lowbush blueberry ( Vaccinium myrtilloides and V. angustifolium ) cultivation as a method of pruning to increase yield and aid in the control of weeds, pests, and

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Juran C. Goyali, Abir U. Igamberdiev, and Samir C. Debnath

the proposed origin of this species is allotetraploid of two diploid species either Vaccinium boreale × Vaccinium palladium or V. boreale × Vaccinium myrtilloides ( Vander Kloet, 1977 ). ‘Fundy’ and ‘QB 9C’ are tetraploid but genetically

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Paul M. Lyrene

.8% for four rabbiteye cultivars. Vaccinium stamineum and Vaccinium elliottii seedlings had smaller stem scar diameter than all other populations except Vaccinium myrtilloides. The authors concluded that “ Vaccinium stamineum is probably worthy of