Broccoli Breeding, Evaluation and Seed Production (2013)

Research report to the Oregon Processed Vegetable Commission

Jim Myers
OSU Dept. of Horticulture

Brian Yorgey
OSU Food Science and Technology

The broccoli breeding project is a long-term project to develop broccoli hybrids suitable for processing and mechanical harvest. Specific objectives include: Develop broccoli varieties adapted to western Oregon with suitable quality, high yields, and disease resistance including concentrated and uniform yield potential, large heads that are well exserted and have minimal leaf development on stems, firm, uniform florets of dark green color, and fine beads with short pedicels, which are retained after freezing. Secondly, develop seed production systems using cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) or self incompatibility (SI) to produce field scale quantities of F1 hybrid seed. Scale up seed production to facilitate wider testing and deployment of OSU hybrids. The broccoli breeding program grows lines and hybrids in a fall trial each year. A replicated yield trial is conducted where raw product and processed quality evaluations are conducted. Cuttings are taken from these trials and are rooted in the greenhouse and used for selfed and crossed seed production. This seed is used to plant the next generation at about midsummer. Research efforts in 2013 were focused on testing various inbred combinations for hybrid production and adaptation to Oregon growing conditions. Trials at the Vegetable Research Farm included a yield trial of OSU derived hybrids, and observation trials of OSU inbreds and hybrids. The seven experimental hybrids tested in a replicated yield trials were similar to the check hybrids in terms of performance. In general, it appears that the OSU inbreds can produce hybrids that are similar to commercial hybrids for most important crop characteristics. The OSU hybrids tend to have more exserted and segmented heads, more uniform bead and stem color. Conversion of inbreds to Ogura CMS background is underway and preliminary efforts to scale up the crossing process were conducted used isolation cages for controlled seed production.