Author Topic: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project  (Read 1051 times)

Andrew Barney

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Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« on: 2020-02-26, 12:09:28 PM »
For those who donít know, Iím slowly forging ahead with my long term wild raspberry breeding project. The project will center around the Rubus Subgenus / Clade Anaplobatus, which includes (R. bartonianus, R. deliciosus, R. neomexicanus, R.odoratus, R. parviflorus, R. trilobus).

My project will revolve mainly around improving / maintaining useful traits from Rubus deliciosus, but having high genetic diversity is also of high priority which means I will want as many different genetically different individuals within R. deliciosus (not just one clone representing the whole species), but also incorporating these other species as well. I guess similar to the big wild tomato project in some ways.

Of these other species, Rubus neomexicanus is highest on my list for procuring as it is basically a subspecies that thrives in dry southwestern areas such as utah, arizona, new mexico, and possibly Oklahoma. Rubus bartonianus is also highly related and is limited to a tiny area in idaho (and may not be diploid like the rest). Rubus trilobus is a conspecific version of rubus deliciosus native to the mesoamerican rocky mountains and is pretty much unavailable, but itís hybrid Rubus ĎBENENDENí is available commercially from Washington State and also popular in the UK.

Rubus deliciosus Ė The Rocky Mountain Raspberry is the one I have chosen to start this with because I love raspberries and I love native plants along with the fact that it is native to my area. When I tracked one down to buy commercially it happened to have a fruit. That fruit was literally the best tasting raspberry Iíve ever had.

Some of the traits that I would like to keep are:

really cool unique leaf shape (may be adapted to conserving moisture)
adapted to the Rocky Mountains
adapted to the North American southwest arid region
dark tasty fruit
large showy ornamental flowers
no spines or prickles

Some traits that might be worth breeding in from domestic raspberries:

large fruit that holds shape well
long keeping fruit traits
more fruit per bush
ever-bearing


Iíve had a few minor set backs, but thatís okay. First I have been unable to find anyone in southern utah, arizona, or new mexico willing to either go out and collect germplasm via seeds or root / rhizome cuttings or go to the one nursery that sells R. neomexicanus and ship it to Colorado. I requested some germplasm this last fall from the USDA, but I think my R. neomexicanus cuttings died so I will need to request at least those two again next September, which stinks.

For anyone willing to help go out and try collecting genetically diverse germplasm and hunt down old identified populations I have a list of GPS coordinates in various areas, including: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. I also just downloaded the GPS coordinates for Rubus Odoratus and R. parviflorus, which I think offhand grow in the North Eastern United States. I also downloaded GPS coordinate info for Rubus trilobus in mexico. If anyone is willing to help, I NEED YOUR HELP. ;)

triffid

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #1 on: 2020-02-27, 03:10:50 AM »
Following this with great interest Andrew.  :)

You mention the ever-bearing trait, which I assume is present in primocane varieties? Is it a case of floricane vs primocane, with one dominant over the other?

I believe I've read, sometime in the past, that some commercial varieties over here in Britain have incorporated N. American wild Rubus genetics - I'll try to find the source.
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Andrew Barney

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #2 on: 2020-02-27, 08:43:29 PM »
Following this with great interest Andrew.  :)

You mention the ever-bearing trait, which I assume is present in primocane varieties? Is it a case of floricane vs primocane, with one dominant over the other?

I believe I've read, sometime in the past, that some commercial varieties over here in Britain have incorporated N. American wild Rubus genetics - I'll try to find the source.

Thanks!

Yeah,  the primocane vs florocane thing was what I was basically referring to. I forget which is which.

I've read a few raspberry breeding books recently that I found pdfs of online. They said that originally before raspberries caught on commercially they imported raspberries from Europe since they were bigger and more productive,  but that they did breed them with the ones here to get them more cold hardy. I imagine they may have done the opposite at some point back in Europe.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #3 on: 2020-03-08, 04:07:51 PM »
Here's some GPS coordinate maps where these specimens can be found and collected. The greater map includes R. parviflorus which apparently can also be found in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, etc, which i did not know. So, that is very interesting.

I know there has been some misidentification along the way so some of these other overlapping ranges are interesting.

William S.

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #4 on: 2020-03-08, 05:23:42 PM »
I have Rubus parviflorus and Rubus ideas both native and horticultural strain of the latter in my yard. Rubus leucodermis I see fairly often in the wild. There are other native Rubus in Montana but I've only seen them once or twice.

I get out to Washington state now and then and encounter salmon berry there, though rarely in fruit.

I would like to grow more Rubus seedlings from the several varieties in my yard just to see if anything interesting shakes out from insect pollination.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-08, 05:28:35 PM by William S. »
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Diane Whitehead

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #5 on: 2020-03-08, 07:05:03 PM »
It sounds as though you don't want any from the Pacific coast.

My half acre has R spectabilis (Salmonberry),  R leucodermis (Blackcap), R. parviflorus (Thimbleberry), R ursinus (Trailing Blackberry) as well as the one that gives the biggest harvest:  R discolor aka R procerus (Himalayan Blackberry).

I could send pollen and seeds.
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Andrew Barney

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #6 on: 2020-03-08, 08:43:26 PM »
It sounds as though you don't want any from the Pacific coast.

My half acre has R spectabilis (Salmonberry),  R leucodermis (Blackcap), R. parviflorus (Thimbleberry), R ursinus (Trailing Blackberry) as well as the one that gives the biggest harvest:  R discolor aka R procerus (Himalayan Blackberry).

I could send pollen and seeds.

Hi Diane,

Actually that's not the case,  though I am putting an emphasis on the ones closest to my area first.

I have GPS coordinates for R. Parviflorus and R. Odoratus that include areas of Oregon, Washington, Maryland, and the east coast, for each species respective range. I will upload in pdf form soon if anyone is interested in that data.

The main project is centered around the  Rubus Subgenus / Clade Anaplobatus.

But I did plant a salmon berry (R. spectabilis) plant from Alaska last fall, though i don't know if i will do any specific crosses with it.

I just planted seeds for R. leucodermis and I'm waiting to see if my R. parviflorus is indeed dead and I will need to find a replacement. Maybe you could help with that?!

But R. ursinus and others like it are not in the scope of this project.

I do have one plant of R. occidentalis, and from what I've read it has a very narrow genetic base and could be improved greatly if hybridized with R. leucodermis. Sounds like there has only ever been one variety that tried that. Strange as that sounds.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #7 on: 2020-03-08, 08:47:07 PM »
Too bad you're not using ursinus.  It is definitely the best tasting and has been used to create my favourite hybrid - Cascade, which is the first to ripen and tastes great also.
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Andrew Barney

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #8 on: 2021-03-29, 09:17:10 PM »
But to update you on where I am with this project:

1. I have 2 plants of Rubus deliciosus, with one on my parents property (probably from the same clone source).
2. I have 1 plant of Rubus 'Benenden' at my parents property, the small one i had here died last winter. It is a hybrid of Rubus deliciosus and it's con-specific sister species Rubus trilobus of southern Mexico. Hopefully this one survived the winter.
3. I have one successful pre-rooted cutting of Rubus neomexicanus obtained from the National Clonal Germplasm Repository: Corvallis, OR. This one is growing well inside in cactus soil and with my capacitive soil sensors programmed to alert me when the soil reaches wilting point.
4. I have plans to get a plant of Rubus parviflorus and Rubus odoratus.
5. My salmon berry cuttings from Alaska appear to have died (too dry here). Rubus spectibilis
6.I planted manually scarified seeds last summer of Rubus bartonianus but none germinated. Maybe this spring?? Although Rubus bartonianus might have weird convoluted genetics and may not be diploid.
7. I have a nice domestic raspberry planted from seed from Driscolls advanced raspberry breeding. These were the best tasting domestic raspberries i've tasted. I'm calling this plant 'Oxnard' based on when these raspberries were purchased in the fall. These were US based raspberries and tasted better than the ones from Mexico. https://www.driscolls.com/about/our-practices/where-we-grow
8. I do have a plant of 'Niwot' black raspberry which is Rubus occidentalis. It is also the first primocane bearing black raspberry but only one set of berries actually taste good i think. It is also very thorny. Thorns are definitely a downside. None of the native raspberries in the Anoplobatus clade have thorns. In addition i did purchase these seeds for a golden black raspberry. https://store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org/products/margs-golden-black-raspberry
9. I do have a purple raspberry red-black hybrid, but it has not produced berries yet and i do not know how good they taste.

When it comes to raspberries outside of the Anoplobatus clade I think i will need to be fairly picky. I no longer will try salmon berry as my climate is too dry. I'm not sure if i want to use black raspberry or not, though probably long term i will try. And if i use the standard Rubus idaeus, i think i will stick to using the most modern cultivars and genetics (which may also be thornless).

Also when it comes to black raspberries I'm actually more interested in using Rubus leucodermis as it is the species the "Blue Raspberry" candy flavor is based on. Also it has never been used in modern black raspberry breeding and was falsely listed as used in a variety a long time ago that is no longer avaialble and was proven false with DNA testing. Though maybe using purple raspberry red-black hybrids might be a better place to start with black raspberry breeding.

The more hard to find species in the Anoplobatus clade are Rubus trilobus, Rubus bartonianus, and maybe Rubus trifidus. There have been successful hybrids between Rubus parviflorus and Rubus odoratus before.

The takeaway for the Anoplobatus  species is that i'm fairly certain they are NOT self pollinating, at least not to a high degree. Getting as much genetic diversity as possible with compatible chromosome counts and the closest related species is key for good berry set.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #9 on: 2021-03-30, 12:03:28 AM »
Yeah, I mostly like Rubus occidentalis for the fact that it is native to my area and it looks nice. The fruits aren't bad - but they aren't great. The nearby wooded area has them everywhere. Have to be really careful picking berries, the thorns tend to catch onto clothing and skin.

I wouldn't even grow salmon berry where I live. They prefer soil that stays constantly moist, notoriously difficult to cultivate. Usually foraged. Canada, Finland, Alaska are the places that its usually foraged.

Have you considered adding Boysenberry to the project? Apparently it is quite adaptable. It is a cross between multiple Rubus species: R. idaeus - R. fruticosus - R. aboriginum - R. ursinus x R. idaeus.

R. aboriginum is in the Anoplobatus group. So there is a record of Anoplobatus being added into other groups.

R. ursinus is apparently dioecious. Which means the male / female flowers are found on separate plants. Could be an advantage for hybridization as well as just plain diversity.

Boysenberry is prone to mildew issues on the coast. Somewhat difficult to grow, fruit doesn't last long. But it is grown in California usually - meaning it can probably grow in dry soil.

Bunch of European and North American species are mixed in - but it is becoming an old variety.

Rubus species from Europe brought over diseases that weren't found in North America, goes in the opposite direction as well. Having a hybrid like this could be nice.

I have considered growing Wineberry(R. phoenicolasius) because it is from Asia. It is also a host to 7+ diseases that ravage native raspberries. So yeah, some different genetics that would be nice for breeding purposes. I would probably grow it from seed due to it being a disease vector.

Cascade Gold Raspberry seems like a nice berry as well in terms of taste / disease resistance.

I tried looking into R. leucodermis a bit. Apparently it tastes similar to R. occidentalis - slightly tart, some sweetness. The ICEE Slurpee name was probably due to "Cherry Slurpee" and other fruit named drinks. Blue Raspberry candy is probably the same story.

Black raspberries are probably still worth trying out though, there are probably thornless types somewhere. Most of them are quite disease resistant.

This website mentions some things that Thimbleberries can appearently hybridize with. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/rubpar/all.html

R. odoratus - R. laciniatus - R. idaeus
Hybrids are also usually "sterile" according to the website - unsure if they are completely sterile. But it might act as a bridge between Anoplobatus species and things like Boysenberry, Red Raspberry, Wineberry - something like this would take quite a bit of time.

Even with the Anoplobatus hybrids, you will probably have low berry set at the very beginning.

Seeds for R. odoratus - Couldn't find any sources with available plants: Wild Seed Project sells 20 seeds for $4.25 - Sheffield's sells 177 seeds for $9.95, but the crop year is 2017. Sheffields also has R. probus from Australia.

Nativefoodsnursery sells some native Rubus plants: Thimbleberry (R. Parviflorus) - Pacific Blackberry (R. Ursinus) - Blackcap Raspberry (R. Leucodermis)

Monrovia sells Thornless Boysenberry: https://www.monrovia.com/thornless-boysenberry.html# Boysenberry has a few newer cultivars, I couldn't find any named ones. This could be a newer type, I am unsure.


Most of the undomesticated species are annoying to find. Good luck finding the Anoplobatus species somewhere. I live in PA, so I can't help too much with that group.

I talked a good bit about forming hybrids outside of Anoplobatus because most domesticated species fall outside of that group. Which means Anoplobatus plantings will probably get hit pretty hard by diseases hosted by other species eventually.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #10 on: 2021-03-30, 09:34:33 AM »
I've thought about the hybrid berries like boysenberry, tayberry, and logan berries, and i might use them in the future, but i figured i would stick to the main ones that are closest genetically first. I imagine this will be a 20-50 year project, which is fine. And yeah, in some ways having separate female / male plants might make it easier for crossing, but at this point i'm okay with it not being easy in that sense. I might always reevaluate in future years.


In a weird sort of way I'm domesticating a new species. Since no one has used Rubus deliciosus or others from this group for traditional raspberry breeding, I'm the first one to work with them, so that is very exciting. The fact that it is the native raspberry to where I live is also really cool. I'm planning on traveling within Colorado to collect other gentically diverse samples of Rubus deliciosus this May-July. I have recorded GPS coordinates where they can be found, so I'll just have to bite the bullet and do it.

I hadn't heard of R. aboriginum. I'll have to research that.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Rocky Mountain Raspberry Breeding Project
« Reply #11 on: 2021-03-30, 05:35:39 PM »
First image: Dunno what these green brambles are - posting the largest stand - these popped up here within the past two or so years. Didn't get to close to them to check too much. I think they might be blackberries, last year they had large white flowers that reminded me of cherry flowers.

Second image: Small cane that I moved from that was near the large group.

Third image: Rubus occidentalis plant that I dug up and moved along with a few other brambles.

Its always nice to look at occidentalis canes in the winter. I think the type around here is a subspecies, can't remember. The occidentalis canes here are red and white striped all year.

I might buy Niwot and Marg's Golden Black Raspberry, probably need to separate Marg's Golden from the others at first though.

I might attempt some breeding as well. Probably with a thornless boysenberry because I really dislike these thorns...

I might try getting some R. parviflorus and R. odoratus as well. Using thimbleberries as a parent to mix in a Anoplobatus species sounds like it could be interesting. Might also be able to merge some projects eventually as well.


Do you have any off type R. deliciosus plants that you have found / noticed so far? I am looking for weird-unusual looking brambles in my group and then moving the ones with traits that I prefer into a separate area.