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New Red Raspberry Variety Produces Early Season Berries

New Red Raspberry Variety Produces Early Season Berries

A new red raspberry cultivar has been developed by a horticultural research team from New Zealand and Canada. The new floricane fruiting red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) given the name 'Moutere', was the result of a planned breeding program at The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited (recently renamed The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant and Food Research).

The parents used to make the cross in 1987 were ‘Haida’ (seed parent), a cold-hardy cultivar, resistant to Raspberry Bushy Dwarf Virus (RBDV), and ‘Qualicum’ (pollen parent), a large attractive fruit producer that works well in fresh market and processing. Both parents are resistant to the common strain of the North American raspberry aphid, Amphorophora agathonica Hottes.

The new cultivar is chracterised by high yields of large, uniform size, bright red berries early in the season, while maintaining the environmental tolerance and disease resistant nature of its seed parent.

The name 'Moutere', a Maori word meaning "island", was chosen because the cultivar was selected near the rural area and townships (Upper Moutere and Lower Moutere) adjacent to Motueka, New Zealand.

News of the discovery first appeared in the American Society of Horticultural Science's journal HortScience. The research team included Mark Joseph Stephens of Plant and Food Research, Chaim Kempler of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, and Harvey K. Hall of Shekinah Berries Ltd., Motueka, New Zealand.

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