Morphological analysis of Fragaria chiloensis accessions and their relationship as parents of F. × ananassa hybrid
It is well-known that the cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) originated in the inter-species hybridization between Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis. The latter was collected by French explorer A. François Frézier, who took plants from southern Chile to FranceRSQUOs botanical garden, where the crossing took place. The most commonly accepted hypothesis within the modern strawberry improvement field is that the plants collected by Frézier were in fact specimens of the Chilean cultivated strawberry, that is, F. chiloensis spp. chiloensis forma chiloensis (Staudt, 1962, 1999; Darrow, 1966). This strawberry is characterized as a vigorous plant with fruits of great size, normally white or pink in color. These characteristics are attributed to the domestication work done by indigenous populations before the SpaniardsRSQUO arrival. However, a new collection of physiological and morphological accessions suggests a greater resemblance between the wild strawberry (F. chiloensis spp. chiloensis forma patagonica) and Fragaria × ananassa. This allows for the possibility that the specimens collected by Frézier were indeed wild strawberry plants and not the plants already domesticated by the Mapuche people. Therefore, it is suggested that a new heredity study on differential characteristics be undertaken to shed new light on the origins of cultivated strawberry.
Gambardella, M., Sanchez, S. and Grez, J. (2017). Morphological analysis of Fragaria chiloensis accessions and their relationship as parents of F. × ananassa hybrid. Acta Hortic. 1156, 117-122
hybridization, morphology, breeding