Plant Science

Identification of factors causing ‘crumbly’ fruit in raspberry

The disorder known as ‘crumbly’ fruit, which causes fruit to develop incorrectly or to crumble readily when picked, is becoming a serious problem in the raspberry industry in Scotland and other parts of Europe. Varieties showing this tendency, even infrequently, are likely to be rejected by growers. BioSS has collaborated with staff from the James Hutton Institute to analyse genetic and environmental factors affecting raspberry crumbliness in both fields and polytunnels over six growing seasons. Crumbly fruit is usually scored as a binary (present/ absent) trait, and a generalised linear model was used to relate observed scores to genetic information for a large raspberry population consisting of two diverse parents and 188 of their offspring. Two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for crumbly fruit have been found consistently in different seasons. One of these QTLs is close to a region associated with control of fruit ripening, and we found evidence for an association of crumbliness with time to ripening, with a higher proportion of crumbly fruit tending to occur in offspring that takes longer to reach the green fruit stage. These results suggest that a test based on genetic markers close to the QTL locations for a wide range of raspberry breeding lines has potential for the selection of lines that are less prone to crumbly fruit. This is important for both Scottish raspberry breeders to eliminate unsuitable raspberry lines at an early stage, and Scottish raspberry growers to reduce losses in yield.

crumbly raspberries Crumbly raspberries develop incorrectly.

Further details from: Adrian Roberts and Graham Horgan

Article date 2015

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