A new raspberry (Rubus ideaus L.) breeding program for selecting new resilient and high-quality cultivars

V. Pergolotti, A. Patella, M. Marcellini, D. Raffaelli, G. Dradi, L. Mazzoni, F. Capocasa, B. Mezzetti
Red raspberry (Rubus ideaus L.) is grown all over the world, and its production is increasing continuously. Consumer interest and market demand for raspberries are also growing in Italy. To further expand raspberry cultivation, there is a need for new cultivars resilient to different climatic conditions, adaptable to cultivation systems, and of high-quality fruit. A new breeding program started in 2019 in Cesena (FC) from a collaboration between the UNIVPM and Battistini Vivai company, has the goal of identifying new cultivars suitable for growth in sub-alkaline soils and humid, warm temperate climates and with desirable traits, such as primocane fruiting habit, earliness in fruit ripening, thornless canes, resistance to diseases, and good appearance of fruit in glossiness, shape, colour, and taste. From this breeding program, we evaluated 4351 seedlings originating from 29 cross combinations. The evaluation was performed in open fields under soil cultivation. Subjective evaluations performed during the first growing season (2021) allowed us to analyse plant and fruit phenotypic variability generated by the different cross combinations and to select the most interesting seedlings. In the second growing season (2022), all progenies were subjectively evaluated again, and seedlings confirming superior traits were selected and analysed more deeply by measuring their yield potential and fruit weight and quality (sugar content and total acidity). As a preliminary result of the two evaluation cycles, about 150 selections were identified for their better combination of plant and fruit traits. All these new selections will be evaluated for a third year to identify and start the propagation of the most promising new genotypes.
Pergolotti, V., Patella, A., Marcellini, M., Raffaelli, D., Dradi, G., Mazzoni, L., Capocasa, F. and Mezzetti, B. (2024). A new raspberry (Rubus ideaus L.) breeding program for selecting new resilient and high-quality cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1388, 389-396
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2024.1388.57
phenotypical evaluation, primocane fruiting habit, Rubus ideaus

Acta Horticulturae