Introduction and breeding of blackberry in China
China initiated introduction of blackberry starting in 1986, and a total of 23 cultivars were introduced by 2015. Five cultivars including 'Hull Thornless', 'Chester Thornless', 'Boysen', 'Shawnee' and 'Kiowa', have been selected for their excellent performance to release into production and the production area has reached about 6,500 hm2 in China. Since 1986, investigations of the Chinese Rubus resources were also carried out. Based on collection and introduction, the first Rubus Germplasm Garden of China was constructed in Nanjing Botanical Garden Mem. Sun Yat-Sen, which preserved 1,331 Rubus germplasm specimens including 78 species and 16 cultivars. Meanwhile, breeding practices of blackberry including crossing, seedling selection, mutation and biotechnology breeding were tried and achieved progress. In the seed seedling selection program, an excellent individual selection resulted in zhongshan17-13 which has major economic traits improved compared with its cutting plant parent 'Hull Thornless'. Through mutagenesis, China's first blackberry cultivar 'Ningzhi 1' derived from 'Boysen' was obtained. By cross breeding, the thornless cultivar 'Ningzhi 2' was successfully selected. Over 10 excellent selections from different cross combinations were also selected with strong potential to provide excellent germplasm for breeding of improved blackberry cultivars in China.
Li, W.L., Wu, W.L., Lv, L.F. and Zhang, C.H. (2017). Introduction and breeding of blackberry in China. Acta Hortic. 1187, 259-264
Rubus spp., introduction, breeding, small fruits