Evaluation of Raspberry (Rubus sp.) Genotypes for Postharvest Quality and Resistance to Botrytis cinerea
Harshman, Julia Mae
Walsh, Chris S
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Raspberries are a delicate, high value specialty crop with an extremely short shelf life. This is exacerbated by their susceptibility to postharvest decay caused by <italic>Botrytis cinerea</italic>. Of the three commercially available species, red raspberry (<italic>Rubus idaeus</italic> L.) is the most widely grown. Yellow (<italic>R. idaeus</italic> L.), black (<italic>R. occidentalis</italic> L.) and purple raspberries (<italic>R. × neglectus</italic> Peck.) are mainly available from direct marketers. The quality and storageability of 17 cultivars was examined weekly from June to September during two growing seasons. Storage life was assessed weekly, while firmness, color, respiration and ethylene evolution rates were measured in select harvests. Black and purple raspberries outperformed red and yellow cultivars in their ability to resist <italic>B. cinerea</italic> colonization. Black raspberries also had the lowest ethylene evolution rates and incidence of decay. This information will be useful to raspberry breeding programs by identifying physiological characteristics that are correlated with greater resistance to <italic>B. cinerea</italic>.