Evaluation of some horticulturally important morphological traits of Turkish wild Vaccinium species

M.M. Bozdag, N. Sultana, S. Serçe
Turkey has rich gene pool of several economically important Vaccinium species which are biologically closely related with the cultivated blueberry species. Although fruit of those Vaccinium species have been collected from the nature by local inhabitants for millennium, they are not commercially cultivated. A study was carried out leading to the collection and characterization of morphological traits of those wild Vaccinium species having potential horticultural importance. Five morphologically different populations of Vaccinium wild species were collected from different habitat with diverse altitude during the land expedition of Eastern Black sea region of Turkey. After extensive literature search, focusing on their morphological characters, these Vaccinium populations were identified as Whortleberry (V. acrostaphylos), billberry (V. myrtillus) and bog bilberry (V. uliginosum). Among the five populations three were highbush type V. acrostaphylos and two lowbush type species identified as V. myrtillus and V. uliginosum. Twelve horticulturally important morphological traits like leaf weight, petiole length, leaf width, leaf length, leaf color (upper side), leaf color (lower side), fruit weight, fruit width, fruit length, fruit crown width, seed number and fruit color have been recorded and analyzed in details. Significant differences observed among the populations and species level regarding the analyzed traits. It is evident that our initial result could be highly valuable for further characterization and improvement of wild or cultivated Vaccinium species in Turkey.
Bozdag, M.M., Sultana, N. and Serçe, S. (2019). Evaluation of some horticulturally important morphological traits of Turkish wild Vaccinium species. Acta Hortic. 1265, 301-308
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1265.42
Vaccinium species, V. acrostaphylos, V. myrtillus, V. uliginosum, horticultural traits

Acta Horticulturae