Berry Cultivar Development for the Fraser Valley
Title: Berry Cultivar Development for the Fraser Valley
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Dossett, Breeder and Geneticist, BCBC/RIDC/BCSGA
Duration: April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023
New cultivars are expected to be a regular by-product of strong and focused germplasm improvement under Berry Germplasm Development and Evaluation. This research project focuses on the evaluation of promising selections from germplasm identified in the BC Berry Breeding Program as well as new selections that are being made each year by the program. Exceptional plants resulting from Berry Germplasm Development and Evaluation will be identified and propagated for further testing in the current activity as part of the cultivar finishing pipeline.
The overall objective of this research project is to evaluate selections in trial for potential release and commercialization with three specific objectives relating to key activities:
- Stage 1 unreplicated observation trials: The initial phase of testing for a new selection is in the form of unreplicated multi-plant plots so that assessment of potential value can take place. The outcome will be that outstanding selections lacking commercial potential, for one or more reasons, will either be discarded from the program or be reserved for use as parents in further breeding while those showing potential for commercial production will move on to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 replicated evaluation trials: Replicated testing of multi-plant plots to establish consistency of performance and commercial potential based on yield, fruit quality, disease resistance, machine-harvestability, and overall adaptability over multiple years. Selections that perform well in these replicated trials will be propagated and move on to propagation for Stage 3. In addition to evaluating material from our own program, new cultivars and advanced selections from other programs and regions will be included for comparison.
- Propagation and virus cleanup for Stage 3 commercial trials: Propagation of virus-free planting stock for testing of small- and large-scale plantings on commercial sites to assess consistency of performance under commercial management and growing conditions. The actual testing of selections will be part of the Canadian Berry Trial Network managed as a collaborative effort across four Canadian provinces under the Canadian Horticulture Council.