Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's blueberries protected in unique, living collection

Date:
May 8, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Familiar blueberries and their lesser-known wild relatives are safeguarded by US Department of Agriculture scientists and curators at America's official blueberry gene bank. The plants, collected from throughout the United States and more than two dozen foreign countries, are growing at the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Ore.

Diverse blueberries collected from throughout the United States and more than two dozen foreign countries are safeguarded at the ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Ore.
Credit: Photo by Chad Finn

Familiar blueberries and their lesser-known wild relatives are safeguarded by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and curators at America's official blueberry genebank. The plants, collected from throughout the United States and more than two dozen foreign countries, are growing at the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Ore.

The blueberries are maintained as outdoor plants, potted greenhouse and screenhouse specimens, tissue culture plantlets, or as seeds, according to research leader Kim E. Hummer.

The genebank's purpose is to ensure that these plants, and the diverse genepool that they represent, will be protected for future generations to grow, enjoy, study and improve. For example, plant breeders can use plants in the collection as parents for new and even better blueberries for farm or garden.

Blueberries and several other small berries are among the fruit, nut and specialty crops housed at the Corvallis repository, which in turn is part of a nationwide, ARS-managed network of plant genebanks.

Likely the most comprehensive of its kind in the United States, the blueberry collection nevertheless continues to expand, Hummer reports. Some acquisitions, referred to as accessions, are donations from breeders. Others are acquired through collecting expeditions, which have taken plant explorers to Russia, China, Ecuador and Uruguay, among other places, as well as throughout the United States to find new blueberry plants for the repository.

The collection includes species of wild blueberries native to the Pacific Northwest that have pigmented flesh or pulp. Some breeders are trying to breed some of these species into the familiar highbush blueberry that has a white interior, Hummer noted.

If breeders can put color on the inside of berries through cross-breeding the internal-color berry plants with highbush plants, the breeders may be able to produce a berry that gives fuller color to processed blueberry jams, jellies, juices and dried or frozen fruit.

Other prized specimens at the genebank may someday become landscaping favorites. One example: low-growing Vaccinium praestans from Russia, China and Japan. Also known as redberry Kraznika or rock azalea, it could make an interesting, attractive ground cover that comes complete with edible fruit.

Read more about this and other blueberry research in the May/June 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may11/blueberries0511.htm#collection


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Marcia Wood. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "World's blueberries protected in unique, living collection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505103247.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, May 8). World's blueberries protected in unique, living collection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505103247.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "World's blueberries protected in unique, living collection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505103247.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins