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Review Article|15 Oct 2019|OPEN
Genetic and genomic resources for Rubus breeding: a roadmap for the future
Toshi M. Foster1, Nahla V. Bassil2, Michael Dossett3, Margaret Leigh Worthington4 & Julie Graham5
1The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (PFR) Ltd, 55 Old Mill Road, Motueka, New Zealand
2USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR), 33447 Peoria Rd., Corvallis, OR, USA
3Blueberry Council (in Partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) Agassiz Food Research Centre, Columbia, BC V0M 1A0, Canada
4Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas, 316 Plant Science Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
5The James Hutton Institute, Errol Road, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland

Horticulture Research 6,
Article number: 19116 (2019)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2019.116
Views: 341

Received: 10 Jul 2019
Revised: 17 Aug 2019
Accepted: 27 Aug 2019
Published online: 15 Oct 2019


Rubus fruits are high-value crops that are sought after by consumers for their flavor, visual appeal, and health benefits. To meet this demand, production of red and black raspberries (R. idaeus L. and R. occidentalis L.), blackberries (R. subgenus Rubus), and hybrids, such as Boysenberry and marionberry, is growing worldwide. Rubus breeding programmes are continually striving to improve flavor, texture, machine harvestability, and yield, provide pest and disease resistance, improve storage and processing properties, and optimize fruits and plants for different production and harvest systems. Breeders face numerous challenges, such as polyploidy, the lack of genetic diversity in many of the elite cultivars, and until recently, the relative shortage of genetic and genomic resources available for Rubus. This review will highlight the development of continually improving genetic maps, the identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL)s controlling key traits, draft genomes for red and black raspberry, and efforts to improve gene models. The development of genetic maps and markers, the molecular characterization of wild species and germplasm, and high-throughput genotyping platforms will expedite breeding of improved cultivars. Fully sequenced genomes and accurate gene models facilitate identification of genes underlying traits of interest and enable gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9.