[NAFEX] Berry Breeding

Jim Fruth jfruth at uslink.net
Sun Jul 23 09:50:02 EDT 2006


Rodney,
   I already have a zone 3b boysenberry but no one is beating a path to my
door.  It is as winter-hardy as the Fort Kent blackberry - both can handle
the cold temperatures of my zone but not the dry wind.
   If I had my say, I would divide the genus Rubus into categories,
raspberry-like and blackberry-like.  The little white thing that is inside
the berry is called a "peduncle."  If the peduncle stays on the plant, when
you pick the berry, it is a raspberry.  If the peduncle stays in the berry,
it is a blackberry.  When you pick a boysenberry, the peduncle stays in the
berry.
   From my experience in breeding apples, when I planted 100 seeds, I
expected one total dud, one that was fantastic and 98 that were so-so.
Rubus breeding is no different.  I've been playing with crossing black
raspberries with red raspberries.  Most of the crosses resulted in soft
fruits that tasted somewhat like stale wine.  Some of the 'fantastics'
weren't all that fantastic but now I've got one that has firm fruit,
interesting taste and it stores well (is shippable).  My next step is to
plant the seed to see if the progeny inherited the traits of the parent.  I
want to learn if the traits that I deem to be desirable are dominant or
recessive.
-- 

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN
www.bberryfarm.com
Jams, Jellies and Syrups
(218)568-8483 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My cell]


   How does Blackberry breeding work? Is it like apples and potatoes where
you 
have no idea what the seeds will produce without actually planting some and
waiting for a crop or is it more definite than that? In other words can your
Zone 3 be crossed with other varieties to get the best of both without the
outcome being a total guess? I think there is a market for a zone 3
blackberry, but probably an even bigger market for a zone 3 BB crossed with
something like a boysenberry, or better yet a boysenberry created with your
zone 3 BB as a parent.  Here is a Wikipedia entry that says boysenberry is a
cross of BB, Raspberry and Logan berry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boysenberry  If you can get a zone 4a
boysenberry lots of people will be eternally grateful.

Rodney in Wy

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