Californian university’s breeding programme delivers five new varieties with Fusarium wilt resistance

UC Eclipse strawberries

UC Eclipse strawberries

The University of California, Davis has unveiled five new strawberry varieties, the first release from its strawberry breeding programme where all the cultivars have Fusarium wilt resistance.

The five varieties, UC Eclipse, UC Golden Gate, UC Keystone, UC Monarch and UC Surfline have also been bred to deliver high yields and improved quality.

Steve Knapp, a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Programme, said the new offerings would replace Fusarium wilt-susceptible plants on the market such as Monterey, UCD Royal Royce and UCD Valiant.

“These provide the same yield or better and they are Fusarium resistant,” said Knapp. “They have a better collection of traits. They’re superior.”

UC Eclipse is a summer plant cultivar, has the potential to increase grower profitability as it produces in the fall and winter with higher yields than similar cultivars.

UC Golden Gate and UC Keystone are day neutral varieties that produce fruit early and late in the season respectively. UC Surfline and UC Monarch are short day plants that are also resistant to Verticillium wilt and Phytophthora crown rot.