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Front Plant Sci. 2015 Sep 30;6:782. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00782. eCollection 2015.

Breeding blueberries for a changing global environment: a review.

Author information

1
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Plant Breeding and Phenomic Center, Universidad de Talca Talca, Chile ; Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University East Lansing, MI, USA.
2
Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University East Lansing, MI, USA.

Abstract

Today, blueberries are recognized worldwide as one of the foremost health foods, becoming one of the crops with the highest productive and commercial projections. Over the last 100 years, the geographical area where highbush blueberries are grown has extended dramatically into hotter and drier environments. The expansion of highbush blueberry growing into warmer regions will be challenged in the future by increases in average global temperature and extreme fluctuations in temperature and rainfall patterns. Considerable genetic variability exists within the blueberry gene pool that breeders can use to meet these challenges, but traditional selection techniques can be slow and inefficient and the precise adaptations of genotypes often remain hidden. Marker assisted breeding (MAB) and phenomics could aid greatly in identifying those individuals carrying adventitious traits, increasing selection efficiency and shortening the rate of cultivar release. While phenomics have begun to be used in the breeding of grain crops in the last 10 years, their use in fruit breeding programs it is almost non-existent.

KEYWORDS:

MAB; UV; Vaccinium; drought; heat; highbush; phenomics; phenotype

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