Properties of New Strawberry Lines Compared with Well-Known Cultivars in Winter Planting System Conditions
In Southern Italy and Sicily, strawberry cultivation is dominated by international cultivars such as ‘Candonga Sabrosa’, ‘Florida Fortuna’, ‘Sabrina’ and ‘Sant Andreas’. The primary objective of our study was to compare the field performance of two experimental lines and four established cultivars in a Sicilian representative strawberry production area. The second objective was to compare the fruits physic-chemical nutraceutical characteristics of these genotypes in response to different postharvest fruit storage temperatures. A supporting genetic analysis, via SSR markers, was also performed in order to establish genotype correlations. Our study confirmed the high result of ‘Florida Fortuna’ in terms of earliness and productivity and the high performance of ‘Candonga Sabrosa’ in terms of total soluble content and fruit firmness. The new lines ‘PA1’ and ‘PA2’ showed satisfying results. However, the new line ‘PA2’, might deserve particular attention by growers involved in strawberry early fruit production in Mediterranean areas both for its yield performance and fruit quality characteristics. This study also showed that a 4 °C fruit storage temperature treatment for 36 hours positively affects the physical and chemical quality properties of strawberry fruits, whereas overall quality declines at 20 °C storage. According to the genetic characterization, ‘PA2’ was closely related to ‘Candonga Sabrosa’ and ‘Florida Fortuna’.
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