STRAWBERRY BREEDING PROGRAM IN SPAIN: PRESENT SITUATION AND PERSPECTIVES
The harvesting period of Vilanova starts in early March, the maximum yield per harvest taking place in April. Its fruit characteristics are similar to those of Pajaro, but it is 1,5 months earlier. This allows that its fruit has a good market price due to the high quality of its fruit in shape and size. This cultivar offers good perspectives for the farmers of the southwestern Spain (Huelva) too because of its earliness, yield and fruit quality.
The cultivar Durval is a medium late type, achieving its maximum yield per harvest in May. The fruit trits of this cultivar are similar to those of Douglas, but it has a much firmer fruit and it is much more resistant to high pH soil. It has special interest for the farmers of the area of Valencia because its maximum productivity is at the same time of the end of harvesting period in Huelva (Southwestern Spain), with higher fruit quality than in this last region because of climate conditions among other factors.
A crossing block was designed to get new breeding material. The parental lines were chosen among entries of the original base population of 18,000 individuals that offered complementary characteristics. The crosses were done in greenhouse under controlled environmental conditions, and the seed was planted in early June of 1989. A total 92 crosses were done, and 105 seedlings were randomly selected within each cross at the end of September (time of transplanting to the breeding nursery). The size of the new base population was 9,660 individuals, consequently. Eight clones were selected after two cycles of selection, the first of them based on individual selection, and the second one based on the general behavior of a plot planted with runners of the original mother plant that we selected in the first cycle.