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Evaluation of F. x ananassa intra-specific and inter-specific back-crosses to generate new genetic material with increased fruit nutritional quality


During the last few years, the nutritional value of fruit has been widely studied and requested by consumers, especially for the general health benefits it can provide. Some of these benefits can be ascribed to the antioxidant capacity of fruit. Both quality and antioxidant attributes are currently considered as good tools to describe the nutritional quality of fruit. In this study, offspring from inter and intra-specific strawberry cross combinations were studied with the aim of evaluating and identifying new genotypes that can show the best compromise between quality and nutritional characteristics. Parents and offspring populations were studied by analyzing fruit nutritional quality taking in account the following parameters: Total antioxidant capacity, total phenol and anthocyanin content. Eighty strawberry offspring, originating from 8 Fragaria spp. inter and intra-specific crosses, were screened to study the role of the genetic origin of the parents in segregating new genotypes with an improved nutritional quality of the fruit. Strawberry progenies having F. virginiana glauca as a common parent showed a significant enhancement of their fruit quality and nutritional features confirming the interest that wild species are useful in improving several characteristics in cultivated strawberries.