Breeding for Flavors in Florida Strawberries

University of Florida strawberry cultivars possess many important qualiies.  They are firm for good shipping, they are large, red and disease resistant.  But in the breeding for productive plants and attractive fruits, flavor was not a priority. That is changing now…

Dr. Vance Whitaker and visiting scienist Dr. Amelia Gaston (visiting from Bordeaux France) examine a strawberry field new Plant City, FL

Today the trend is changing and Dr. Vance Whitaker and Horticultural Sciences graduate student Alan Chambers are working to add back flavor.

In the lab, the diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is used to identify genes and understand how they contribute to flavor and aroma.  This information is then used to inform breeding decisions based on the presence or absence of specific genes.

The goal is to use traditional breeding to speed production of the high quality cultivars the UF breeding program is known for– only with improved flavors.

The whole story is can be read on TechNews Daily.

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