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Seminar: Joy Johnson: Evaluation of Yield, Fruit Chemistry, and Firmness of Seven Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) Cultivars and Four NC State Advanced Strawberry Selections in an Eastern North Carolina Greenhouse

June 26 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Evaluation of Yield, Fruit Chemistry, and Firmness of Seven Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) Cultivars and Four NCSU Advanced Strawberry Selections in an Eastern North Carolina Greenhouse
Joy Johnson, MS Seminar
Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 9:00 am
(Under the direction of Dr. Mark Hoffmann, Chair)

Location: 121 Kilgore / Hybrid
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 984 7964 1675
Passcode: 647496


Strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) are an important fruit crop in the United States, generating over $2 billion in annual revenue. Since the 1970s, virtually all strawberries in the US have been produced using annual hill plasticulture. However, challenges like the rising cost of labor and production, increasing pest and disease pressure, and climate change associated risks of unfavorable weather, as well as the opportunity to extend the harvest season into favorable winter markets has led to frequent exploration of alternative protected culture strawberry production in areas of the US, including North Carolina. One of these systems is tabletop greenhouse production, where strawberries are produced in soilless substrates in raised gutters.  The transition to this system requires high up-front investment but could help mitigate the previously mentioned issues and potentially open non-accessible winter fruit markets for growers, especially in the southern US.  The use of soilless media can also help minimize the risk of soil-borne pathogens. However, questions remain about the efficacy of different strawberry cultivars in this new production system in the southeastern US.  Therefore, two studies were conducted to evaluate different strawberry cultivars and North Carolina State University advanced selections in a soilless greenhouse environment in Eastern North Carolina.

The first study aimed to evaluate the growth, yield, postharvest chemistry and fruit firmness of seven strawberry cultivars (Albion, Brilliance, Camino Real, Fronteras, Monterey, Sensation, and Sweet Charlie) in a commercial tabletop greenhouse in eastern North Carolina over two growing seasons (2022-23 and 2023-24). In general, long-day (everbearing/day-neutral) cultivars Albion and Monterey produced higher yields than other cultivars in the winter, while the short-day cultivars yielded the most in the early spring months. However, ‘Brilliance’ and ‘Sensation’ produced yield in both the winter and spring months. Additionally, ‘Brilliance’ showed high fruit firmness across both years, and high sweetness in one of the two years. This study confirms that ‘Albion’ is a quality choice as a standard greenhouse cultivar for growers in the southeastern US, due to consistent yields, postharvest chemistry and firmness throughout seasons. However, this study also shows the cultivars Monterey, Brilliance and Sensation can perform well under greenhouse conditions. Those cultivars might become a reliable alternative for southeastern greenhouse strawberry growers in the future.

The second study assessed four advanced strawberry selections from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) breeding program and one standard control variety: ‘Albion,’ ‘NC 19-020,’ ‘NC 20-099,’ ‘NC 21-033,’ and ‘NC 22-004.’ The trial focused on plant growth, yield, primary postharvest chemistry, and fruit firmness. For plant growth measurements, ‘NC 20-099’ showed robust vegetative growth with the highest average number of crowns and plant dry mass, but this did not correlate strongly with yield. ‘NC 19-020’ had the highest total marketable yield, outperforming all other selections and ‘Albion.’ The selection NC 21-033 exhibited high postharvest quality traits, with the highest TA and brix content. For fruit firmness ‘NC 22-004’ demonstrated higher firmness than all other selections across all firmness metrics. Understanding the performance and characteristics of these advanced selections is crucial for informing breeding decisions and guiding future research directions. By clarifying the various growth and production characteristics of each advanced selection, we contribute valuable insights to the ongoing efforts aimed at developing resilient, high-yielding, and flavorful strawberry cultivars for North Carolina growers.


June 26
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Event Categories:
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Rachel McLaughlin
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121 Kilgore Hall
2721 Founders Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States
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