Apr 27, 2023
UC Davis releases 5 strawberry varieties resistant to fusarium

The Strawberry Breeding Program at UC Davis is releasing five new strawberry varieties that are resistant to fusarium wilt, while also offering high yields and improved fruit quality.

UC Eclipse, UC Golden Gate, UC Keystone, UC Monarch and UC Surfline will be available for sale to California nurseries from Foundation Plant Services at the end of April 2023. (Photo above shows UC Keystone strawberries grown in Santa Monica, California. Photo credit: Cindy Lopez Ramirez of UC Davis).

More than 80 percent of strawberries grown in the U.S. are from California. Fusarium wilt is one of the most common diseases responsible for crop loss and death, but more than 50 percent of cultivars planted in California since 2014 have not been resistant, according to UC Davis research.

This is the first release from the Strawberry Breeding Program for cultivars that all have Fusarium wilt resistance. They are meant to replace susceptible plants on the market such as Monterey, UCD Royal Royce and UCD Valiant.

Monarch also was developed specifically as a prototype for mechanical harvesting – another first out of the breeding program.

“These provide the same yield or better, and they are Fusarium resistant,” said Steve Knapp, a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program. “They have a better collection of traits. They’re superior.”

Read the full story at www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/news/5-strawberry-varieties.