Details of New Strawberry Varieties in Development…
Everyone loves bigger and better strawberries. But, improvements to the existing strawberry varieties that are available commercially don’t just magically appear. Improving strawberry selections can be a long and tedious work. Going from native species of strawberry plants that produce small (but delicious!) strawberries to the larger and more economical versions most of us are familiar with today is a process. There are numerous obstacles to overcome in that process, and the vast majority of cultivars never pass the rigorous tests for release as an actually-improved strawberry variety.
Some of the main traits, of course, that breeding programs seek to improve are size and flavor. But, equally important are the hardiness factors that allow the strawberry plants to thrive and succeed in a host of different environments. Although strawberry plants are very hardy, new strawberry varieties in development need to improve resistance to different pathogens and infectious organisms to truly succeed on a large scale.
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Florida residents will be noshing on two new varieties this year. Researchers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science has released two new strawberry varieties: Winterstar & Florida Sensation. Winterstar originated from a 2005 cross between the Florida Radiance variety (female parent) and Earlibrite (male parent). Florida Sensation is similar, […]
Have you ever wondered how a new variety of strawberry plants is developed? The big, luscious strawberries that we all know and love haven’t always existed. In fact, they are a relatively new phenomenon. The original wild-type strawberry species produced (and still produce) tasty strawberries. But, those strawberry plants cranked out tiny (relatively speaking) fruits. When the first Garden Strawberry was successfully bred (see the Strawberry Plant page for more of the development history of today’s strawberry plants), the path was paved for the creation of the strawberry cultivars we grow today.
While the most successful breeding programs are funded by the state, individuals or non-governmental groups can endeavor to breed better strawberry plants as well. This post describes some of the thoughts and targets that should guide any strawberry plant breeding program. Continue reading How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants is Developed