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Blue honeysuckle: a novel soft fruit for temperate climates

Blue honeysuckle is a novel, niche-market fruit because of its tart flavours, unique aroma profiles and abundant antioxidants. Commercial crop development requires improved biochemical traits to promote wide-spread market acceptance.

Scientists at University of Saskatchewan (Canada) have compared blue honeysuckle germplasm groups from Russia, Japan and the Kuril Islands with three mainstream fruit crops (highbush blueberry, red raspberry and June-bearing strawberry) to characterize selected biochemical traits, including total soluble solids (TSS) and titratable acidity (TA), in a temperate climate in the Fraser Valley (British Columbia, Canada).

Results showed that biochemical diversity associated with commercially-desirable fruit quality varied across groups, providing genetic resources required to improve several fruit quality traits. "There was greater variability in dry matter and TSS:TA  ratio in the Russian and Japanese groups, respectively, and these groups had similar diversity in TSS, TA and pH - The scientists explain - Blue honeysuckle exhibited important variability in TSS:TA, the Japanese group had low TSS:TA despite high TSS, and the Russian group had high TSS:TA despite low TSS. Diversity in TSS:TA is more directly related to differences in TA than TSS. Reducing TA will effectively improve TSS:TA, contributing to desirable fruit quality and market acceptance".

Source: Eric M. Gerbrandt, Robert H. Bors, Desneige Meyer, Ron Wilen, Ravindra N. Chibbar, 'Fruit quality of Japanese, Kuril and Russian blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) germplasm compared to blueberry, raspberry and strawberry', 2020, Euphytica, Vol. 216, Article number: 59.



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