Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Fruit Production Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 November 2023) | Viewed by 17333

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Station, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA 23806, USA
Interests: horticulture; small fruits; postharvest; food sciences

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The horticulture industry is changing rapidly due to environmental, economical and social constraints, and the berry industry is no exception. Climate change, migration, economic instabilities and public health concerns have been some of the major challenges in recent years. The science is also changing rapidly as new technologies such as genome sequencing, bioinformatics, sensing and imaging technologies and automation have emerged. These technologies have created large amounts of data in different areas of research. The results need to be commercialized and incorporated into the established breeding, production, handling and storage practices.

This book will collect and represent information on new and improved breeding, production and postharvest practices that can be beneficial to the berry industry and human health. The topics include, but are not limited to, the following: breeding and genomics, environmental responses and tolerances, nutrient management, pest and disease management and resistances, enhanced phytonutrient content, enhanced human nutrition, systems to improve shelf life and food safety and new technologies such as automation, imaging and sensing technologies.

Dr. Toktam Taghavi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • berry
  • cultivation
  • breeding
  • health benefits

Published Papers (10 papers)

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15 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sunn Hemp Biomass Incorporation on Organic Strawberry Production
by Yurui Xie, Zachary E. Black, Nan Xu, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Dustin M. Huff and Xin Zhao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111247 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), a warm season leguminous cover crop, is commonly used in rotation with organic strawberry production in Florida’s subtropical environment. This study was conducted to explore the impacts of sunn hemp on growth and yield performance of the [...] Read more.
Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), a warm season leguminous cover crop, is commonly used in rotation with organic strawberry production in Florida’s subtropical environment. This study was conducted to explore the impacts of sunn hemp on growth and yield performance of the subsequent organic strawberry crop in sandy soils, taking into consideration the nutrient contribution from soil incorporation of sunn hemp biomass. Sunn hemp was seeded during the summer off-season and terminated before flowering, three weeks prior to the fall planting of two strawberry cultivars (‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Camino Real’). With sunn hemp residues incorporated into the soil, two application rates of nitrogen (N) through pre-plant organic fertilization for the strawberry season were used, including N at a rate of 84 kg/ha, without consideration of the N credit from sunn hemp, and N at a rate of 19.8 kg/ha, with consideration of the estimated N credit from sunn hemp. A summer fallow without cover crop and with a pre-plant organic fertilizer application at the N rate of 84 kg/ha was included as the control. Overall, the sunn hemp incorporation at three weeks after termination did not benefit the strawberry plant growth or fruit yield in this study, with rather low levels of soilborne pathogen and nematode infestations. Both sunn hemp treatments exhibited a significantly lower level of total soil N compared to the summer fallow plots at the end of the strawberry season. The reduction in the pre-plant N fertilization resulted in lower above-ground plant dry weight and accumulation of N, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) at the end of the strawberry season, along with fewer leaves and smaller crowns of the strawberry plants during the early season. Both sunn hemp treatments decreased early fruit yields, while the sunn hemp treatment with the reduced N fertilization also led to a significant reduction in the total fruit number and weight, although no significant differences in the whole-season marketable fruit yield were observed among the nutrient management treatments. Overall, ‘Strawberry Festival’ yielded higher than ‘Camino Real’, but the effects of nutrient management did not vary with the strawberry cultivars. Further studies are needed to enhance organic strawberry nutrient management involving rotational cover crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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13 pages, 1576 KiB  
Article
Fruit Quality of Several Strawberry Cultivars during the Harvest Season under High Tunnel and Open Field Environments
by Hiral Patel, Toktam Taghavi and Jayesh B. Samtani
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101084 - 28 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1200
Abstract
Parameters such as titratable acids (TA), total soluble solids (TSS), and their ratio (TSS/TA) are critical in determining strawberry fruit quality and the value of new cultivars. Ten strawberry cultivars were evaluated in two environments (open field and high tunnel) in the city [...] Read more.
Parameters such as titratable acids (TA), total soluble solids (TSS), and their ratio (TSS/TA) are critical in determining strawberry fruit quality and the value of new cultivars. Ten strawberry cultivars were evaluated in two environments (open field and high tunnel) in the city of Virginia Beach. The objective was to evaluate the fruit quality characteristics (total soluble solids, titratable acidity TA, and total anthocyanin content) of newer strawberry cultivars grown in the annual hill plasticulture systems in coastal Virginia climatic conditions. Another objective was to measure the correlation between TA and a new digital meter (pocket acidity meter; PAM). Fruits were harvested weekly and TSS was measured using a refractometer. Acidity was measured using the pocket acidity meter and titratable acidity by a single sample titrimeter. Genetics significantly affected total anthocyanin content, TSS, TA, and acidity. The effect of the environments (high tunnel and open field) was not significant on TSS but significant on total anthocyanin content, TA, and acidity. “Flavorfest” had the highest and “Sweet Ann” the lowest anthocyanin content, TSS, and TA among the cultivars. The acidity (PAM data) showed a different level of correlation than TA, with a higher correlation for the open field than the high tunnel. On average, when outliers were removed, there was a regression of TA = 2.22(PAM) + 0.49 between the two data sets, with R2 = 0.47. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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15 pages, 1207 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Irrigation Rates on Remontant Strawberry Cultivars Grown in Soil
by Micol Marcellini, Davide Raffaelli, Luca Mazzoni, Valeria Pergolotti, Francesca Balducci, Yasmany Armas Diaz, Bruno Mezzetti and Franco Capocasa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(9), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9091026 - 11 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
The present study assessed the responses, in terms of vegetative, productive, qualitative, and nutritional features, of plants and berries of three remontant strawberry cultivars cultivated in soil and irrigated using three irrigation regimes: standard irrigation regime (W100), 20% (W80) less irrigation than the [...] Read more.
The present study assessed the responses, in terms of vegetative, productive, qualitative, and nutritional features, of plants and berries of three remontant strawberry cultivars cultivated in soil and irrigated using three irrigation regimes: standard irrigation regime (W100), 20% (W80) less irrigation than the standard irrigation, and 40% (W60) less irrigation than the standard irrigation. The tested plants were “Albion”, “San Andreas”, and “Monterey”, which were cultivated in the east coast area of Marche, Italy. Specifically, the study examined the response of the genotype to irrigation deficit, highlighting the performance of the “Monterey” cultivar, which showed improvement in terms of fruit firmness, folate content, and antioxidant capacity at the W80 irrigation regime without a significant yield reduction. In all the cultivars, when irrigation was reduced by up to 20% of the standard irrigation regime (W100), there were no significant losses of yield or reduction in the fruits’ sensorial quality or antioxidant activity. The results showed that the standard irrigation regime (W100) commonly adopted by the farmers in the Marche area uses more water than necessary. With more accurate water management, it will be possible to save almost 226 m3 of water per hectare per cultivation cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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12 pages, 1346 KiB  
Article
Vermicompost and Vermicompost Leachate Application in Strawberry Production: Impact on Yield and Fruit Quality
by Ranko Čabilovski, Maja S. Manojlović, Boris M. Popović, Milivoj T. Radojčin, Nenad Magazin, Klara Petković, Dragan Kovačević and Milena D. Lakićević
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030337 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Recycling organic waste is most important for preserving natural resources. The research objective was to quantify the effect of the application of vermicompost and vermicompost leachate on the yield and quality of strawberries and compare it with a standard fertilization program with mineral [...] Read more.
Recycling organic waste is most important for preserving natural resources. The research objective was to quantify the effect of the application of vermicompost and vermicompost leachate on the yield and quality of strawberries and compare it with a standard fertilization program with mineral fertilizers during a 3-year production cycle. Five fertilization treatments were studied: control—without fertilizer (Ø); vermicompost (V); vermicompost + foliar application of vermicompost leachate (VL); vermicompost leachate through fertigation and foliar application (L); and mineral NPK fertilizers (NPK). The application of V positively affected strawberry yield only in the first year. In all three years of fruiting, the highest yield was measured for NPK treatment. In the first year, fertilization had no effect on fruit quality, while in the second and third years, the application of leachate led to a significantly higher concentration of total soluble solids, total anthocyanins, antioxidant activity of the fruit, and a lower concentration of total acid. Strawberries are grown for a two- or three-year production cycle, so the application of V and VL cannot maintain the yield level as was with the application of mineral NPK fertilizers. The quality of strawberry fruit, however, can be improved significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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15 pages, 1773 KiB  
Article
An Economic Comparison of High Tunnel and Open-Field Strawberry Production in Southeastern Virginia
by Jean Claude Mbarushimana, Darrell J. Bosch and Jayesh B. Samtani
Horticulturae 2022, 8(12), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8121139 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2199
Abstract
High tunnels have been reported to extend the harvest season for fruits and vegetables in several North American regions. This study was conducted to evaluate whether there are additional economic returns from strawberries produced in high tunnel structures compared to open-field in the [...] Read more.
High tunnels have been reported to extend the harvest season for fruits and vegetables in several North American regions. This study was conducted to evaluate whether there are additional economic returns from strawberries produced in high tunnel structures compared to open-field in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A total of eight strawberry cultivars were evaluated in a randomized complete block under high tunnel and open-field conditions. Total costs were estimated for all eight cultivars under high tunnel and open-field, and gross and net revenues from all cultivars were estimated over three marketing strategies (pre-pick wholesale, pre-pick retail, and U-pick) for both high tunnel and open-field. The average net revenues per hectare in the high tunnel were −$62,077 (−$25,122 ac−1), −$15,151 (−$6131 ac−1), and −$27,938 (−$11,306 ac−1) for pre-pick wholesale, pre-pick retail, and U-pick, respectively, compared to open-field net revenues of $39,816 ($16,113 ac−1), $112,102 ($45,366 ac−1), and $81,850 ($33,123 ac−1) for wholesale, pre-pick retail, and U-pick, respectively. Net revenues in the high tunnel were lower due to lower yields and higher production costs including overhead cost of the high tunnel structure. Almost all cultivars in the high tunnel generated negative net revenues regardless of the marketing strategy. The exceptions were ‘Camino Real’ which generated positive net revenues with U-pick and pre-pick retail marketing and ‘Merced’ which generated positive net revenues for pre-pick retail marketing. In contrast, net revenues from open-field cultivars were always positive. Results imply that growers should focus on open-field rather than high-tunnel strawberry production. Results are from one season of production. Replication of the study under one or more production seasons would contribute to more robust findings of the economic viability of strawberry production under a high tunnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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10 pages, 1572 KiB  
Article
Quality Assessment of Dried White Mulberry (Morus alba L.) Using Machine Vision
by Adel Hosainpour, Kamran Kheiralipour, Mohammad Nadimi and Jitendra Paliwal
Horticulturae 2022, 8(11), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8111011 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
Over the past decade, the fresh white mulberry (Morus alba L.) fruit has gained growing interest due to its superior health and nutritional characteristics. While white mulberry is consumed as fresh fruit in several countries, it is also popular in dried [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, the fresh white mulberry (Morus alba L.) fruit has gained growing interest due to its superior health and nutritional characteristics. While white mulberry is consumed as fresh fruit in several countries, it is also popular in dried form as a healthy snack food. One of the main challenges that have prevented a wider consumer uptake of this nutritious fruit is the non-uniformity in its quality grading. Therefore, identifying a reliable quality grading tool can greatly benefit the relevant stakeholders. The present research addresses this need by developing a novel machine vision system that combines the key strengths of image processing and artificial intelligence. Two grades (i.e., high- and low-quality) of white mulberry were imaged using a digital camera and 285 colour and textural features were extracted from their RGB images. Using the quadratic sequential feature selection method, a subset of 23 optimum features was identified to classify samples into two grades using artificial neural networks (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. The developed system under both classifiers achieved the highest correct classification rate (CCR) of 100%. Indeed, the latter approach offered a smaller mean squared error for the training and test sets. The developed model’s high accuracy confirms the machine vision’s suitability as a reliable, low-cost, rapid, and intelligent tool for quality monitoring of dried white mulberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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17 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Foliar Application of Some Macronutrients and Micronutrients Improves Yield and Fruit Quality of Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.)
by Zofia Zydlik, Piotr Zydlik, Nesibe Ebru Kafkas, Betul Yesil and Szymon Cieśliński
Horticulturae 2022, 8(7), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8070664 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2425
Abstract
Foliar fertilization makes it possible to quickly provide plants with essential nutrients, mainly micronutrients, which can significantly improve the quality of yields. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of foliar fertilization with fertilizers containing calcium and microelements on yielding [...] Read more.
Foliar fertilization makes it possible to quickly provide plants with essential nutrients, mainly micronutrients, which can significantly improve the quality of yields. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of foliar fertilization with fertilizers containing calcium and microelements on yielding and fruit quality of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). A two-year study was carried out in western Poland in an experimental highbush blueberry production plantation. During the growing season the bushes were treated several times with the following foliar fertilizers: Armurox, BioCal, and Stymjod. The experiment assessed bush growth vigor, yield, fruit quality characteristics, sugar, organic acid, and health-promoting substance content. It was found that as a result of fertilizing highbush blueberry bushes with foliar fertilizers, the leaf blade area and plant yield increased significantly. The fruits collected from those bushes were characterized by a higher mass, firmness, and TSS content. This also applies to blueberry fruit after storage. Foliar fertilization had no significant effect on the content of chlorophyll a and b in the leaves of northern highbush blueberry, on fruit coloration, the content of sugars, ascorbic and citric acids, and the phenolic compounds in them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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20 pages, 1472 KiB  
Article
Effect of Temperature and Photoperiod Preconditioning on Flowering and Yield Performance of Three Everbearing Strawberry Cultivars
by Rodmar Rivero, Siv Fagertun Remberg, Ola M. Heide and Anita Sønsteby
Horticulturae 2022, 8(6), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8060504 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1940
Abstract
Environmental control of flowering in everbearing strawberry is well known, while the optimal commercial raising conditions for high and continuous yield remains unsettled. We exposed freshly rooted plants of cultivars Altess, Favori and Murano to 9 °C, 15 °C, 21 °C and 27 [...] Read more.
Environmental control of flowering in everbearing strawberry is well known, while the optimal commercial raising conditions for high and continuous yield remains unsettled. We exposed freshly rooted plants of cultivars Altess, Favori and Murano to 9 °C, 15 °C, 21 °C and 27 °C, respectively, at two photoperiods for 4 weeks, and assessed flowering and yield performance. Long days at 15–21 °C enhanced flowering, while short days (SD), particularly at 27 °C, decreased flowering. Runner formation was enhanced by SD, being inversely related to flowering. Yields the next season were highest in plants exposed to 15–21 °C, whereas the seasonal harvest distribution varied. In concurrence with earlier reports, the size of the first fruit flush determined the magnitude of the second flush and the length of the off period when little fruit was produced. The large first fruiting flushes of plants exposed to 21 and 27 °C gave particularly long off periods and small second flushes. Moderate first flushes of plants from intermediate temperatures also resulted in a more evenly distributed harvest and the largest yields. Developing flowers and fruits are strong sinks for photosynthates; therefore, the size of the first fruit flush must be compromised to optimize fruit yield and seasonal crop distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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10 pages, 1648 KiB  
Article
Effect of Genotype and Harvest Date on Fruit Quality, Bioactive Compounds, and Antioxidant Capacity of Strawberry
by Yunting Zhang, Min Yang, Guoyan Hou, Yong Zhang, Qing Chen, Yuanxiu Lin, Mengyao Li, Yan Wang, Wen He, Xiaorong Wang, Haoru Tang and Ya Luo
Horticulturae 2022, 8(4), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8040348 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
Fruit quality is strongly affected by genotype and harvest date. In this study, parameters regarding fruit quality, bioactive compounds, and antioxidant capacity of different strawberry cultivars at three harvesting dates were quantified to elucidate the influence of genotype and harvest date on strawberry [...] Read more.
Fruit quality is strongly affected by genotype and harvest date. In this study, parameters regarding fruit quality, bioactive compounds, and antioxidant capacity of different strawberry cultivars at three harvesting dates were quantified to elucidate the influence of genotype and harvest date on strawberry quality. The results showed that harvest date was the major contributor to appearance color, TSS, TA, and TSS/TA ratio of strawberries, while genotype mainly affected firmness, anthocyanin content, and antioxidant capacity. Moreover, the interaction of genotype and harvest date had a primary influence on the content of ascorbic acid. The content of total phenolics and amino acids received the similar influence caused by genotype and harvest date. However, the interaction of genotype and harvest date significantly affected total phenolic content as well. These findings give a better understanding of the influence of the genotype and harvest date on strawberry, which might contribute to breed cultivars with more attractive fruits in terms of quality acceptance and nutritional value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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8 pages, 1344 KiB  
Brief Report
Impact of Water and Nutrient Supplementation on Yield of Prairie Plantings of Juneberry Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt., Cultivar and Windbreak Plantings
by Kerry Hartman, Dilmini Alahakoon and Anne Fennell
Horticulturae 2023, 9(6), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9060653 - 01 Jun 2023
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. (Juneberry, Saskatoon berry or Serviceberry) fruit historically played an important role as fresh or dried food and as a medicinal staple in the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribal Nations. Natural Juneberry stands were lost during the creation of Sakakawea Reservoir [...] Read more.
Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. (Juneberry, Saskatoon berry or Serviceberry) fruit historically played an important role as fresh or dried food and as a medicinal staple in the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribal Nations. Natural Juneberry stands were lost during the creation of Sakakawea Reservoir on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Reintroduction of the Juneberry is important to the tribal communities. Therefore, the impact of water and fertilizer supplementation was explored in two mature Juneberry cultivar (Honeywood, Martin, and Smokey) plantings and a seedling windbreak planting. Yield was examined in three consecutive years with three treatments: (1) natural conditions (control; no additional water or fertilizer); (2) irrigation during flowering and fruit ripening period (irrigated); and (3) fertilization plus irrigation during flowering and fruit ripening period (fertilized). Yield varied from 5 to 258 g/0.03 m−3 across locations, treatments, and years. There was no difference in yield across locations and treatments in year one. Yield was greater in the second year than first year, but not different across locations or treatments. The fertilized treatment showed increased yield in the third year in contrast to irrigated treatment across locations. New plantings can be established more economically using seedling material and the yield increased if watered and fertilized during fruit development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Berry Crops Production: Cultivation, Breeding and Health Benefits)
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