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Strawberry breeding in a subtropical environment

Herrington, M.E. and Chandler, C.K. (2006) Strawberry breeding in a subtropical environment. Acta Horticulturae, 708 . pp. 441-447.

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Strawberry breeding aims to provide cultivars that maximise consumer satisfaction and producer profitability in a changing environment. In this paper some concepts of profitability, consumer satisfaction and sustainability are explored for a subtropical climate using Queensland Australia, and Florida USA, as examples. The typical production environment is annual autumn planting of bare rooted runners into polythene covered raised beds at about 40000 plants/ha. Harvesting is late autumn to early spring, with fruit arriving at the major markets up to 2000km away from the production area within 1-4 days of harvest. The basic premise in the breed-big work is that consumers must enjoy the experience of eating strawberries, and that perceived flavour, sweetness, and juiciness are the major contributors to this experience. Using market chain information, we developed a basic value model comprised of costs, returns, and sustainability of market. To this basic outline are applied operational descriptors, such as 'speed of harvest', and associated plant characteristics, such as 'fruit display'. The expression of each plant characteristic is ascribed a value or level and together numerically describe the phenotype. This description is mathematically manipulated to provide a 'value index' for the cultivar. Nine cultivars including 'Strawberry Festival', 'Kabarla', 'DPI Rubygem' and 'Sweet Charlie' are described, and environmental issues that may impact on the subtropical strawberry breeding objectives are discussed. Product differentiation and the use of exotic germplasm as a new source of genes for flavour and resistance to disease and environmental stress will likely be the cornerstones of future progress in subtropical strawberry breeding. This approach should satisfy both consumers and producers.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:© International Society for Horticultural Science.
Keywords:Strawberry; breeding; cultivars; harvesting.
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Berries and small fruits
Live Archive:12 Feb 2009 05:40
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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