Source: AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE submitted to
OHELO, VACCINIUM RETICULATUM, A SPECIALTY ORNAMENTAL AND VALUE ADDED CROP FROM HAWAII
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0216081
Grant No.
2008-51180-04873
Project No.
HAWW-2008-04843
Proposal No.
2009-01204
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
SCRI
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2008
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2012
Grant Year
2009
Project Director
Zee, F.
Recipient Organization
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE
(N/A)
HILO,HI 96720
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
To contribute to the diversity of Hawaii agriculture, and simultaneously reduce impact of harvesting ohelo berries by wild gathering. It will introduce ohelo berry as a holiday foliage crop for nursery producers in Hawaii and Oregon.
Animal Health Component
60%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
60%
Developmental
30%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2021099102025%
2041129108025%
2051129116050%
Goals / Objectives
1. Streamline clonal propagation protocol of three patented ohelo berry plants for ornamental trade in Hawaii and Oregon. 2. Establish molecular fingerprinting, cryopreservation methodology, and initiate nutritional analysis information of ohelo berries. 3. Determine host-pathogen relationship of Vaccinium and fungal diseases in Hawaii. 4. Identify environmental, horticultural and management factors affecting production of ohelo as ornamental potted plants in Hawaii and Oregon, and as a specialty berry crop in Hawaii. 5. Prepare economic feasibility analyses of ohelo as an ornamental potted plant and as specialty niche berry. 6. Provide extension and outreach to farmers and stakeholders in Hawaii. 7. Develop seed base production protocol for sustainable ohelo fruit production in Hawaii, and to initiate value added products and culinary research of ohelo by industrial partners.
Project Methods
1. Selected clonal ohelo germlasm will be released by USDA, ARS, through the USDA, ARS, PWA Office of Technology Transfer. Tissue culture studies will be conducted at the USDA, ARS, Clonal Germplasm Repository at Corvallis to optimize growth medium, and nursery protocol for commercial micro-propagation and production. 2. Three successful cryopreservation strategies with other Vaccinium species will be compared and tested at the USDA, ARS, Repository in Corvallis, OR, on ohelo clones and populations for long-term conservation of the germplasm. We will initiate the comparison of dietary nutrients of ohelo to the popular Vaccinium including the level of total Anthocyanins (ACY), total phenolics (TPH), and antioxidant with cooperators at the Oregon State University. 3. Establish proper management strategies of fungal diseases of Vaccinium in Hawaii for field studies of disease impact on ohelo berry. The importance of rust and Fusarium sp. and their cross-infection potential on blueberry and ohelo will be investigated. 4. The interactions between genetic (genotype) and environmental factors will be observed and recorded for growth, yield, qualities and production of ohelo clones during the study period (3 seasons). In Corvallis, OR, we want to observe the cold hardiness of the clones. Observations on plant qualities, growth, phenology and plant response to pruning, fertilizer applications and environmental parameters (temperature, moisture, etc.) will be documented. Records and observations on disease, pest and environmental impact including drought, cold and volcano fume (vog) damage will be documented and management methods investigated. 5. Test production of 1000 plants from flask to market will be conducted at selected nurseries in Hawaii and Oregon beginning the second year. Cost of operation will be recorded in detail per 100 plants. For berry production, data for field establishment and three years of operation will be recorded for each plot. Feasibility analyses for ornamental plants and specialty berries will be based on costs of production. Results will be analyzed and summarized for extension and outreach publications. 6. Determine "proof of concept" at research stations (foundation at the Volcano station and expanded to lower elevations) then utilize cooperator-demonstrators as: "early adaptors" to enhance adoption by industry. 7. A seed based production system will be tested for sustainable berry production for culinary and confectionery uses. Open pollinated seeds from selected healthy ohelo plants will be harvested from the USDA, ARS collections. Composited seeds will be distributed and grown at selected locations in Hawaii. This approach will maximize the genetic diversity for adaptation, disease resistance, yield and quality potential of the ohelo germplasm. The cooperators will be free to produce and multiply their seeds from the provided germplasm.

Progress 09/01/08 to 08/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: 1) Developed germination and propagation protocol for ohelo from seeds, cuttings and tissue culture to mature plants; identified best management practices including media, fertilizer, temperature, light, canopy training, insect and disease controls at three elevations in Hawaii. Identified preference of 4 tephritid fruit flies to ohelo berries with help from USDA/ARS entomologist. Selected and released two cultivars, Kilauea and Red Button for berry production and ornamental potted plant through USDA/ARS, TTO. The cultivar selection is critical which allowed the focus of research and improvement on the two varieties instead of more variable seedlings. Information disseminated via UH Extension publication. (Zee et. al 2010). 2) Corvallis repository established: a) Molecular fingerprinting of the released cultivars compared to other Vaccinium species; the molecular fingerprinting protocol is important in germplasm identification & verification; b) streamlined commercial tissue culture production of ohelo, and , c) developed long-term cryogenic storage of vegetative and seed samples; d) produced the first nutrient analysis of ohelo to explore future usage of ohelo beyond value added specialty products; e) the identification of environmental and management components on ohelo qualities as means to schedule ohelo production as a sustainable crop. For example, trimming and fertilizing are methods to time vegetative growth for the attractive ornamental qualities and production for market needs. Rust and powdery mildew leaf disk and growth chamber trials were developed and completed for rapid screening of potential resistance of Ohelo berry. Information disseminated via UH Extension publication. 3) Preliminary feasibility analyses from seed to market gave us estimated cost metrics in production and market values. We realized the cost analysis results are skewed favoring the ohelo at this point, as ohelo is a well known plant in Hawaii and it is available for the first time. 4) Extension outreach to farmers and stakeholders were achieved by working with the UH-CTAHR Cooperative Extension, CTAHR-CES. Seeds, plants and educational materials were distributed free of charge via attendance at 11 meetings of interested farmers and nurserymen. 5) Develop seed based berry production protocols to provide berries for value added products research. Published three UH Extension bulletins. PARTICIPANTS: Technical assistants: Tristan Foote was hired as a term laboratory and field research assistant with SCRI grant fund to help in field, nursery and laboratory from 2008 to 2011. He conducted disease screening of rust disease on blue berry varieties and powdery mildew on ohelo in field and growth chambers, he demonstrated for the first time successful grafting of ohelo onto blue berry rootstock. Amy Strauss is a staff research technician at our unit who contributed innovative ideas in growing and production of ohelo in containers as ornamental and berries producers; she participated in selection of the two ohelo cultivars. Claire Arakawa is a staff tissue culture technician at PBARC who tested the medium composition and initiation of ohelo into in vitro culture. USDA/ARS, Corvallis, scientists tested 23 simple sequence repeat markers (SSR) from other Vaccinium species to clearly identify the named clonal ohelo genotypes from other V. reticulatum seedlings. The Co- PIs of the SCRI project are Francis Zee, Lisa Keith U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA, ARS) Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) 64 Nowelo Street, Hilo, HI 96720, email: francis.zee@ars.usda.gov; Kim Hummer, Barbara Reed, and Nahla Bassil, USDA, ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR), 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, OR, 97333-2521, email: kim.hummer@ars.usda.gov. Stuart T. Nakamoto, Randall Hamasaki, Milton Yamasaki, and Andrew Kawabata, University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH, CTAHR), 1995 East-West Rd. AgSci 314 B, Honolulu, HI 96822, email:snakamoto@hawaii.edu. Cooperators: Robert Durst, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-6512, email: bob.durst@OregonState.edu; Industry cooperators are: Allan K. Ikawa, Jodi Silva, Research & Development, Big Island Candies, Hilo, HI 96720 email: jodi@bigislandcandies.com; Ken Love, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, Agriculture Chair American Culinary Federation - Kona Kohala Chefs Association HI, email: kenlove@hawaii.edu; Yongjian Chang, North American Plants LLC, McMinnville, OR 97128-8410,email: changy@naplants.com. TARGET AUDIENCES: Ornamental Nursery industries, small farmers, sustainable and diversify crop farmers, hobbyists, general public, plant lovers and Chefs. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
1) Demonstrated small farm sustainable production of ohelo as an alternative to wild picking which included container culture using irrigation and fertilizers at three locations. Selected and released two varieties based on ornamental potential, recorded berry yield for two growing seasons. 2) Streamlined in vitro propagation and conservation protocol at the Oregon repository and transferred the technology to a commercial tissue culture laboratory. Nursery ready plugs are available to the public since 2007 from the enterprise. 3) Nutrient analysis of ohelo berries identified similarity of most anthocyanins to cranberry with exception of lower peonidin. Ohelo is a rich source of phenolics, and proanthocyanidins. A close ohelo relative V. calycinum, (tree ohelo) in Hawaii had 10 times higher proanthcyanidins than cranberry. Proanthocyanidins with A-type linkages have been associated with preventing adhesion of P-fimbriated uropathogenic Escherichia coli to uroepithelial cells in humans. 4) The cooler temperature (<68 degrees F) at higher elevation is preferred by ohelo growth and production which promotes red color in young leaves. Warmer temperatures resulted in less attractive foliage and more susceptibility to powdery mildew infection. Four genotypes and a seedling population were compared using a powdery mildew rating scale; N09-16 is less susceptible to than the other lines. Kilauea has the best overall attributes and is more tolerant to powdery mildew than Red Button and ohelo seedlings. Etiology of a stem and root rot of ohelo was determined and Calonectria was identified as the potential causal agent of disease. 5) Allocated cost was $3.79 per plant for a 3.5" container and $6.67 per plant for a 6-inch. The total estimate at the Volcano trial was $4.57 for the 3.5" container (12 m cycle) and $7.47 for the 6 inch pot (18 m). At the BIAN Annual Scholarship Plant Sale (via an unfunded Specific Cooperative Agreement) each 4 inch ohelo was sold for $10 and 6 inch for $16. Total income for the scholarship fund was $1,300.00. We collected feedback from 100 customers and most believed there is a potential for ohelo as an ornamental potted plant. 6) The USDA/ARS, PBARC, Hilo, and UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service conducted eleven grower-cooperator events between 7/1/09 to 8/31/10, recruited 9 grower-cooperators. Two lowland ohelo were selected by growers for their locations. 7) In 2010, berry production at the Volcano nursery for three months reached 50 lb cumulative yield from fifty 3 year old plants in 2 gal containers. Forty-seven plus lb (47.6 lb) of berries were provided to a value added product manufacturer in Hilo, and 17.5 lb to chefs at a Kona resort and a culinary class for recipe development. Seven recipes were reported by the chefs and students. Recipes include: Foie Gras with poached ohelo berries in port wine; crispy duck breast with Beluga lentils & ohelo lavender sauce and ohelo berry and horseradish pot roast. In June, 2011, a nursery at Volcano purchased 3 K tissue cultured Kilauea and Red Button plugs from Oregon for berry and plant and berry production.

Publications

  • Zee, F., L. Keith, A. Strauss, C. Arakawa, T. Foote, K.E. Hummer, B. Reed, N. Bassil, S. T. Nakamoto, R. Hamasaki, M. Yamasaki, A. Kawabata, R. Durst, A. K. Ikawa, J. Silva, K. Love, Y. Chang. 2010. Sustainable Production and Utilization of Ohelo as an Edible Berry and Ornamental Crop. HortScience 46(9) S74-75.
  • Zee, F., L. Keith, A. Strauss, C. Arakawa, T. Foote, K.E. Hummer, B. Reed, N. Bassil, S. T. Nakamoto, R. Hamasaki, M. Yamasaki, A. Kawabata, R. Durst, A. K. Ikawa, J. Silva, K. Love, Y. Chang. 2010. The Pebbles That Started the Tea and Ohelo Berry Projects in Hawaii. HortScience. 46(9) S88.
  • Follett, P.A., F.T.P. Zee. 2011. Host Status of Vaccinium reticulatum (Ericaceae) to Invasive Tephritid Fruit Flies in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:2 pp. 571-573.
  • Reed, B.M., E. Uchendu, S. Wada, F.T. Zee. 2012. Alternative Storage for Germplasm of Native Hawaiian Berries. Acta Horticulturae. 526. In pressReed, B.M. 2010. Techniques for Short and Long-Term Preservation of Plant Tissues and Organs. In Vitro. 46:S284.
  • Hummer, K.E., Pomper, K., Postman, J.D., Graham, C.J., Stover, E.W., Mercure, E.W., Aradhya, M.K., Crisosto, C.H., Ferguson, L., Thompson, M., Byers, P., Zee, F.T. 2012. Emerging Fruit Crops. In: Badenes, M. L., Burne, D. H., editors. Fruit Breeding. New York, NY: Springer. p. 97-147.
  • Keith, L.M. and F.T. Zee. 2012. First report of stem and root rot of Ohelo berry in Hawaii. Plant Dis. (Pending)
  • Keith, L.M., T. Matsumoto, and F. Zee. 2012. Field survey and germplasm screening of fungal pathogens of Ohelo berry in Hawaii. HortScience. (Pending)


Progress 09/01/10 to 08/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Obj. 1. Propagation. Three cultivars Kilauea, Nene and Red Button were released in Sept, 2010 and are available as tissue culture plants through a commercial laboratory (March, 2011). A nursery in Hawaii purchased 4,000 plugs for ornamental production. Obj. 2. Fingerprinting/storage. Single sequence repeat markers (SSR) clearly identify seven &#333;helo clones from other V. reticulatum seedlings at Corvallis. &#332;helo shoot tips were cryogenically preserved and deposited at NCGRP in Ft. Collins (USDA-ARS). Germination of 12 mo cryopreserved seed was significantly better than control seed. Shoot cultures in StarPac tissue-culture bags in 4 C cold storage for more than 16 months. Bead encapsulated shoot tips were moderately desiccation to 31% moisture content before loss of viability. Preliminary nutrient analysis of 15 frozen &#333;helo berry samples in 2009 suggested that &#333;helo has similar levels of ORAC as the cranberry. Obj. 3. Management of fungal diseases. Powdery mildew, Microsphaera vaccinii causing necrotic leaf lesions and defoliation is most damaging to &#333;helo at low elevations. A new disease kills ohelo was identified as Leaf spots and Sudden Collapse- Calonectria sp. Obj. 4. Quality and production management. The Volcano Agriculture Station at 4,000 ft (1300m), avg. max 20-22 C (68-72 F) and min. 2-12 C (35-54 F) is the most favorable environment among three compared. Natural sulfur fumes on site may provide protection to powdery mildew. &#332;helo are heavy feeders and respond well to foliar fertilization. One year old Kilauea plants regenerate shoots and leave at 21 days after pruning, flowers at 35 days after and bear fruits at 63 days after. Mexican Lopper can be managed by BT spray on young shoots (3 tsp per gal). High diversity in morphology and powdery mildew tolerance observed among &#333;helo seedlings. Obj. 5. Economics. Nursery cooperators at low elevation failed to produce plants due to powdery mildew. Cost estimates were from research plantings at Volcano. Cost per plant was $1.72 for each 4 in seedlings (12 month cycle), and $5.87 for 6 in (18 month). Tissue culture plug starters shorten finish period to 8 months for a 6 inch pot. Potted &#333;helo plants were well accepted at the Big Island Ass. of Nurserymen (BIAN) Annual Scholarship Plant Sale, July 30-31, 2010. Four and six in pots sold at $10 and $16 respectively. Obj. 6. Extension and outreach. One extension article on &#333;helo varieties, provided seeds to botanical gardens and public. Provided hands-on training, starters and field tour to interested farmers on site. A private grower purchased 4 K plugs of tissue cultured Kilauea and Red Button from Oregon for production at Volcano. Obj. 7. Seed based production protocols for berry. Berry production reached goal of 50 lb in a three month period (n=50, 17 lb from field and 33 lb from pots) (May to July, 2010). Red button is a better berry producer than Kilauea. We distributed 38 lb of berries to the Kona Chefs association which developed 6 plus recipes in sauces and desserts. Big Island Candies Inc. received 57 lb of frozen fruits for product development research. PARTICIPANTS: PIs: 1) Francis Zee, Horticulturist, Hilo, HI. Designed and organized the project to demonstrate &#333;helo as a potential ornamental and berry crop for Hawaii and the U.S. He coordinates and supports field, greenhouse and laboratory research with extension to stakeholders in Hawaii and Oregon. Served as the clearinghouse for report and management for the SCRI project. 2) Kim Hummer, Horticulturist, Corvallis, OR. Coordinated and implemented tissue culture, fruit nutrient analysis, and long-term cryogenics preservation research, and evaluated selected clones for adaptation in Oregon environment. 3) Barbara Reed, Plant Physiologist, Corvallis, OR. Conducted research and developed methodology in tissue culture production of ohelo in commercial applications, and in long-term tissue and seed storage of &#333;helo in liquid nitrogen. 4) Stuart T. Nakamoto, Economist, UH (Manoa-CTAHR). Coordinated documents and conducts feasibility analysis of &#333;helo as a crop through the project; to explore and collect diverse ohelo from different islands. 5) Lisa Keith, Plant Pathologist, Hilo, HI. Conducted research on disease organisms affecting &#333;helo and other Vaccinium in Hawaii, and to identify potential solutions. 6) Andrew Kawabata and 7) Randall Hamasaki, County Extension Agents, UH. (CTAHR), East and West Hawaii. Coordinated and conducted workshops and meetings with researchers, farmers and nurseries on the island of Hawaii to assist technological transfers & germplasm distributions. Cooperators: 1) Allan K. Ikawa & Jodi Silva, Big Island Candies Hilo, HI. Provided in-kind developmental research in a real commercial manufacturing facility using ohelo berry as the specialty ingredient. 2) Nahla Bassil, Molecular Geneticist, USDA/ARS, Corvallis, OR. Developed molecular markers for identification of the ohelo clones and for germplasm verification among Vaccinium species. 3) Bob Durst, OR. Provided in-kind support for nutrient analysis of ohelo berry collected from various locations in Hawaii. 4) Yongjiang Chang, North American Plants LLC. McMinnville, OR. Provided in-kind support to evaluate tissue culture and nursery procedures in a large scale commercial nursery in Oregon. 5) Ken Love, Tropical Fruit Grower Association; American Culinary Federation Chapter -Kona Kohala Chefs de Cuisine. Provided in-kind support in establishing and maintaining a low elevation ohelo plot in a small farm in Kona and coordinates culinary discovery of the ohelo berry with chefs and students. 6) Amy Strauss, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Coordinated and provided field and nursery support at three key locations on the island of Hawaii. 7) Tristan Foote, Technician (SCRI grant funded), USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provided field & nursery support at multiple locations, and laboratory support for the plant pathologist. 8) Claire Arakawa, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provided tissue culture support critical for early initiation of new clones for in-vitro security of the germplasm. 9) Milton Yamasaki, Field Manager, UH Waimea, Hamakua, and Kona. Provided physical space to establish nursery and field plantings at different UH stations. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences: farmers, backyard growers, nurserymen, consumers, conservation groups, candy manufactures, chefs, and students are the diverse targets of the project. 1) Farmers: ohelo as a potential new berry and potted ornamental crop uniquely Hawaii. The mixed production scheme will be a money maker that utilizes the same labor resources throughout the year for one crop with two products. 2) Conservation groups: the domestication of ohelo reduces the demand for wild ohelo harvesting from the mountains which reduces human traffic that damages the fragile environment physically or by introducing weeds and pests. Reduced human pressure in the ohelo habitat also improves that for the nene, the endangered Hawaii geese. 3) Specialty product manufactures: the project will improve the reliability and supply of ohelo berry for product development and production. Ohelo is unique to Hawaii. 4) Students of conservation: this is a model demonstrating how conservation and utilization can work together through sensible cooperation. This is also a good model of science in the real world. Efforts of delivering the science based knowledge in formal and informal settings include: 1) Posters and Power point presentations that identify purposes, objectives, philosophy in the research efforts and reporting the impacts. 2) Two extension publications: "Propagation and cultivation of Ohelo", "Producing Potted Ornamental Ohelo" are available at no cost through the UH, CTAHR website, or as hard copies. 3) Extension outreach to stake holders through meetings and workshops including BIAN, Waimea Farmers, presentations to students and Tropical Fruit Growers Association for distribution of germplasm and information. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: 1) $5000.00 was transferred from USDA/ARS, Hilo SCRI project fund to USDA/ARS Corvallis SCRI cooperator in October 2010 to expand research on the fingerprinting analysis of 10 addition ohelo clones. 2) $5,000.00 was transferred from the USDA/ARS, Hilo SCRI project fund to Corvallis SCRI cooperator for addition analysis of chemical component by the Linus Pauling Institute.

Impacts
We achieved the seven objectives identified in the proposal. We will continue harvest and provide V. reticulum berries to the industry cooperators for product development. Obj. 2. The molecular fingerprinting system contributes to the accuracy of germplasm verification and identification of &#333;helo clones and many species in the blueberry and related family. Success in liquid nitrogen storage research allows for low input long-term storage and secure preservation of the genetic resources at the USDA/ARS, National Plant Germplasm System. Preliminary plant nutrient profile suggested &#333;helo and a related species, V. calycinum may contain levels of ORAC similar to cranberry. Obj. 3. Research on fungal diseases of Vaccinium including blueberry rust suggested that some &#333;helo selections may be more tolerant to blueberry rust, a small exploratory study on grafting of ohelo onto blue berry and reverse to determine if there are transfer of resistance between the grafts. Obj. 4. &#332;helo plants are highly responsive to nursery management, continue working with the nursery cooperator at Volcano will provide data to determine the potential of &#333;helo as a crop. Obj. 5. Preliminary economic analysis suggested &#333;helo potted plants are desirable to the public, and the preliminary cost estimates and BIAN plant sale suggested the feasibility of &#333;helo as an ornamental potted plant. Obj. 6. Six recipes were developed by the Kona Chef cooperators using &#333;helo in gourmet cooking. This project emphasized conservation and sensible utilization of &#333;helo by providing an alternative sustainable source through small farm production.

Publications

  • Zee, F.T., Keith L., Follett, P.A., Bassil, N.V., Reed B.M., Strauss, A., Arakawa, C., Kawabata, A., Hamasaki, R.T., Nakamoto S.T., Silva, J., Ikawa, A., Chang, Y., Love, K., Durst, B. and Hummer, K. 2011. Kīlauea and Red Button, two ōhelo, Vaccinium reticulatum, cultivars from Hawaii (F&N-16).
  • Zee, F.T., Keith, L., Hummer, K., Reed, B.M., Bassil, N.V., Strauss, A.J., Arakawa, C., L., Nakamoto, S.T., Hamasaki, R., Hamasaki, M., Kawabata, A., Ikawa, A.K., Silva, J., Love, Ken, Durst., Chang., J. 2011. Sustainable Production and Utilization of ohelo as an edible berry and ornamental Crop. Abst. American Society for Horticulture Science Meeting.
  • Reed, B. M., Uchendu, E.E., Wada, S.B.M., Zee, T. 2011. In Vitro Storage and Cryopreservation of Ohelo Seed and Tissue Culture. Abst. American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting.
  • Reed, B. M., Uchendu, E.E., Wada, S.B.M., Zee, T. 2011. In Vitro Storage of Ohelo Tissue Cultures. Abst., SIVB meeting June 4-8, 2011, Raleigh N.C. , Yep.
  • Keith, L.M., Sugiyama, L. S., Foote, Tristan G., Matsumoto B.T., Zee, F.T. 2011. Screening for Powdery Mildew Resistance in ohelo berry germplasm in Hawaii. American Phytopathology Society Annual Meeting.


Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Obj. 1. Clonal propagation and production. Micropropagation protocols and technology transferred to the commercial lab cooperator, and the two ohelo accessions will be released as cultivars 'Kilauea' and 'Red Button' to the public in March, 2011. The 500 'Kilauea' plugs returned to Hilo from the commercial cooperator resulted in highly uniform and excellent plants. Obj. 2. Fingerprinting, storage and fruit nutrient analysis. Single sequence repeat markers (SSR) clearly identified the three clonal ohelo from other V. reticulatum seedlings. The three ohelo clones were cryopreserved for long-term storage at NCGRP in Ft. Collins (USDA-ARS). Storage of ohelo seeds in -20 C resulted in more rapid and uniform germination. Preliminary nutrient analysis of 15 frozen ohelo samples identified similar ORAC levels as in cranberry. Obj. 3. Management of fungal diseases. Blueberry rust, Naohidemyces vaccinii collected and identified on ohelo leaves, but ohelo is not a preferred host. Powdery mildew, Microsphaera vaccinii is a more damaging disease. Obj. 4. Management on quality and production of ohelo. Volcano Agriculture Research Station at 4,000 feet (1300m) is the best location. Lower temperatures (Avg. Max 20-22 C and Avg. min 2-12 C) is important for developing the red color in young shoots. Natural sulfur fumes at Volcano appeared to provide protection against powdery mildew infections. The test planting at Kona (300 feet) resulted in loss of most plants to heat and drought. Obj. 5. Economic analyses. Record sheets were developed and distributed to nursery collaborators. No cost information was returned as commercial cooperators had difficulties growing ohelo. The cost for the USDA/ARS plantings at Volcano were $7.00 & $8.00 for 4 & 6 inch plants respectively. Seed to market time was 18 months. Market value was $10.00 and $16.00 for the 4 & 6 inch potted plants sold at the Scholarship Plant Sale. Obj. 6. Extension & outreach. Eleven grower-cooperator events were conducted between 7/1/09 to 8/31/10. Extension efforts included publications, power point presentations, problem solving sessions and distribution of 23 community pots totaling 2,300 plants. Obstacles encountered by farmers are insufficient watering, powdery mildew, and insufficient trimming. Other outreach included Ag class at the community college, community pots of seedlings to Honokaa High School and Kamehameha School agriculture programs, and individual nurseries. The SCRI teams met in Hilo, HI (11/2009) and Corvallis (9/2010) to coordinate and report on the project. Obj. 7. Develop seed based production for ohelo. Ohelo berries were collected weekly and stored frozen in plastic bags until distribution to the food industry cooperators. The berry production reached goal of 50 lb in three months (May to July, 2010) from potted and field plants in Volcano. Kona chef developed 6 recipes. Preliminary testing from a food industry cooperator suggested, more research is required to create additional "wow" factors to improve the attractiveness as a berry crop. PARTICIPANTS: PIs: 1) Francis Zee, Horticulturist, Hilo, HI. Design and organize the project to demonstrate ohelo as a potential ornamental and berry crop for Hawaii and the U.S. He coordinates and supports field, greenhouse and laboratory research with extension to stakeholders in Hawaii and Oregon. Serve as a clearinghouse for report and management for the SCRI project. 2) Kim Hummer, Horticulturist, Corvallis, OR. Coordinate and implement tissue culture, fruit nutrient analysis, and long-term cryogenics preservation research, and evaluate selected clones for adoption in Oregon environment. 3) Barbara Reed, Plant Physiologist, OR. Conducts research and develops methodology in tissue culture production of ohelo in commercial applications, and in long-term tissue and seed storage of ohelo in liquid nitrogen. 4) Stuart Nakamoto, Economist, UH (Manoa-CTAHR). Coordinates documents and conducts feasibility analysis of ohelo as a crop through the project; to explore and collect diverse ohelo from different Islands. 5) Lisa Keith, Plant Pathologist, Hilo, HI. Conducts research on disease organisms affecting ohelo and other Vaccinium in Hawaii, and to identify potential solutions. 6) Andrew Kawabata and 7) Randall Hamasaki, County Extension Agents, UH. (CTAHR), East and West Hawaii. Coordinates and conducts workshops and meetings with researchers, farmers and nurseries on the island of Hawaii to assist technological transfers & germplasm distributions. Cooperators: 1) Allan K. Ikawa & Jodi Silva, Big Island Candies Hilo, HI. Provides in-kind developmental research in a real commercial manufacturing facility using ohelo berry as the specialty ingredient. 2) Nahla Bassil, Molecular Geneticist, USDA/ARS, Corvallis, OR. Develops molecular markers for identification of the ohelo clones and for germplasm verification among Vaccinium species. 3) Bob Durst, OR. Provides in-kind support for nutrient analysis of ohelo berry collected from various locations in Hawaii. 4) Yongjiang Chang, North American Plants LLC. McMinnville, OR. Provides in-kind support to evaluate tissue culture and nursery procedures in a large scale commercial nursery in Oregon. 5) Ken Love, Tropical Fruit Grower Association; American Culinary Federation Chapter -Kona Kohala Chefs de Cuisine. Provides in-kind support in establishing and maintaining a low elevation ohelo plot in a small farm in Kona and coordinates culinary discovery of the ohelo berry with chefs and students. 6) Amy Strauss, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Coordinates and provides field and nursery support at three key locations on the island of Hawaii. 7) Tristan Foote, Technician (SCRI grant funded), USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provides field & nursery support at multiple locations, and laboratory support for the plant pathologist. 8) Claire Arakawa, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provides tissue culture support critical for early initiation of new clones for in-vitro securing of the germplasm. 9) Milton Yamasaki, Field Manager, UH Waimea, Hamakua, and Kona. Provides physical space to establish nursery and field plantings at different UH stations. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences: farmers, backyard growers, nurserymen, consumers, conservation groups, candy manufactures, chefs, and students are the diverse targets of the project. 1) Farmers: ohelo as a potential new berry and potted ornamental crop uniquely Hawaii. The mixed production scheme will be a money maker that utilizes the same labor resources throughout the year for one crop with two products. 2) Conservation groups: the domestication of ohelo reduces the demand for wild ohelo harvesting from the mountains which reduces human traffic that damages the fragile environment physically or by introducing weeds and pests. Reducing human pressure in ohelo habitat also improves that for the nene, the endangered Hawaii geese. 3) Specialty product manufactures: the project will improve the reliability and supply of ohelo berry for product development and production. Ohelo is unique to Hawaii. 4) Students of conservation: this is a model demonstrating how conservation and utilization can work together through sensible cooperation. This is also a good model of science in the real world. Efforts of delivering the science based knowledge in formal and informal settings include: 1) Posters and Powerpoint presentations that identify purposes, objectives, philosophy in the research efforts and reporting the impact. 2) Two extension publications: "Propagation and cultivation of Ohelo", "Producing Potted Ornamental Ohelo" are available at no cost through the UH CTAHR website, or as hard copies. 3) Extension outreach to stakeholders through meetings and workshops including BIAN, Waimea Farmer, presentations to students and Tropical Fruit Growers Association for distribution of germplasm and information. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: 1) $5000.00 were transferred from USDA/ARS, Hilo SCRI project fund to USDA/ARS Corvallis SCRI cooperator in October 2010 to expend research on the fingerprinting analysis of 10 addition ohelo clones. 2) $5,000.00 was transferred from the USDA/ARS, Hilo SCRI project fund to Corvallis SCRI cooperator for addition analysis of chemical component by the Linus Pauling Institute.

Impacts
We achieved the seven objectives identified in the proposal. We will confirm our observations a second time during the remaining of the project period on management and timing of production for both ornamental and berry. Obj. 1. We will expand on the nutrient analysis, fingerprinting and disease documentation of additional clones. The public distribution of ohelo germplasm will continue in small scale. The distribution of clonal materials will be from the commercial cooperator. The cultivars 'Kilauea' and 'Red Button' will be tested at other locations in the continental U.S. Obj. 2. The molecular fingerprinting system contributes to the accuracy of germplasm verification and identification of ohelo clones and many species in the blueberry and related family. Success in liquid nitrogen storage research allows for low input long-term storage and secure preservation of the genetic resources at the USDA/ARS, National Plant Germplasm System. Preliminary plant nutrient profile suggested ohelo and a related species, V. Calycinum may contain level of ORAC similar to carnberry. The teams will confirm the high ORAC content observation and initiate the production study on V. calycinum. Obj. 3. Research on fungal diseases of Vaccinium including blueberry rust suggested that ohelo may have tolerance to blueberry rust, and there are different levels of tolerance to powdery mildew. Identifying proper environment suitable for planting ohelo will allow for more efficient and low impact production. Obj. 4. Ohelo plants are highly responsive to nursery management in timing and quality control for market needs Obj. 5. Preliminary economic analysis suggested that ohelo potted plants have potential as a commercial crop and is desirable to the public. Obj. 6. The project will continue production of berries and encourage cooperators in product development research. The project emphasizes conservation and sensible utilization of a natural resource.

Publications

  • Bassil, N.V., Bunch, T.R., Nyberg, A.M., Zee, F.T., and Hummer, K.E. 2010. Microsatellite Markers Distinguish Hawaiian Ohelo from Other Vaccinium L. Section Myrtillus Species. Acta Horticulturae. 859:81-88.
  • Follett, P. A. and Zee, F.T. 2010 Host status of ohelo berry, Vaccinium reticulatum, to invasive tephritid fruit flies in Hawaii. Hawaiian Entomological Society Proceding.
  • Reed B.M., Uchenda E., Wada, S. and Zee, F.T. 2010. Alternative Storage for Germplasm of Native Hawaiian Berries. Acta Horticulturae.
  • Zee, F.T., Strauss, A.J., Arakawa, C.N., Follett P.A., Bassil, N.V., and Hummer, K.E. 2010. 'Kilauea' and 'Red Button', Ohelo, Vaccinium reticulatum, cultivars from Hawaii. HortSci submitted 10.1/2010.
  • Zee, F.T., Kawabata, A. Hamasaki, R.T., Nakamoto S.T., Keith L.M., Reed B.M. and Hummer, K.E. 2010. Producing potted ornamental ohelo, Vaccinium reticulatum (Smith). University of Hawaii, CTAHR.


Progress 09/01/08 to 08/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Obj. 1. Transferred and established 3 selected ohelo tissue culture clones from USDA/ARS, Hilo, HI to Corvallis, OR & to North American Plant, LLC at McMinnvile, OR. Tissue culture plants multiplied and established well at sites and being planted out in the nursery to determine the commercial feasibility and ornamental potential. Obj. 2. USDA/ARS Corvallis scientists developed fingerprinting using single sequence repeat markers (SSR) to identify the selected ohelo clones from other Vaccinium species; a manuscript is being prepared. USDA/ARS Corvallis scientists prepared tissue culture ohelo shoot tips for liquid nitrogen storage in different cryo-preservation compounds; the three successful freezing techniques tested are controlled rate cooling, vitrification and encapsulation dehydration. For nutrient analysis, six different samples were collected and shipped to the Linus Pauling Institute. Obj. 3. USDA/ARS, Hilo Plant Pathologist collected and identified Blueberry rust, Naohidemyces vaccinii on ohelo leaves from the Mealani field planting. Koch's postulates was demonstrated in growth chamber and nursery that ohelo is affected by rust disease. We recommended sanitation, tracking, use of rain shelter and drip irrigation to minimize the impact. More ohelo seedlings were planted at Volcano, Mealani, and Lalamilo in greenhouses and field to compare growth, qualities and production at the different environments. Obj. 4. Data and recordkeeping sheets were developed by the UH economist and have been distributed to project members and nursery collaborators. Information will be used for economic analysis through the project. Obj.5. Hawaii team from USDA/ARS, Hilo; UH Extension agents and economist conducted extension workshops for the Big Island Association of Nurseryman (BIAN) (4/1/09, 7/1/09), the Waimea Farmers workshop (8/12/09), and meeting with project members in Oregon (6/18/09) to ensure good communication and set forth the project. Obj. 6. A total of 1,300 seedlings from Volcano field plants were distributed to BIAN members (7/1/09) to provide source of genetic diversity for testing at different locations. Public release of ohelo seedlings will be in March 2010 to coincide with the BIAN scholarship plant sale. Over 100 ohelo seedlings were distributed to five growers in Waimea through a workshop in August. A follow up distribution is scheduled for 10/6/09. Over ten pounds of fresh and frozen ohelo berries were provided to Big Island Candies since October 2008 for product development research. So far, the quantity of berries is limited, but will improve with the additional plantings at Volcano, Mealani, and Lalamilo and with cooperative farmers. A temporary fence has been erected to keep Nene geese out of the volcano berry planting. PARTICIPANTS: PIs: 1) Francis Zee, Horticulturist, Hilo, HI. Design and organize the project to demonstrate ohelo as a potential ornamental and berry crop for Hawaii and the U.S. Coordinate and support field, greenhouse and laboratory research with extension to stakeholders in Hawaii and Oregon. Serve as a clearinghouse for report and management for the SCRI project. 2) Kim Hummer, Horticulturist, Corvallis, OR. Coordinate and implement tissue culture, fruit nutrient analysis, and long-term cryogenics preservation research, and evaluate selected clones for adoption in Oregon environment. 3) Barbara Reed, Plant Physiologist, OR. Conducts research and develops methodology in tissue culture production of ohelo in commercial applications, and in long-term tissues and seeds storage of ohelo in liquid nitrogen. 4) Stuart T. Nakamoto, Economist, UH (Manoa-CTAHR). Coordinates documents and conducts feasibility analysis of ohelo as a crop through the project; to explore and collect diverse ohelo from different Islands. 5) Lisa Keith, Plant Pathologist, Hilo, HI. Conducts research on disease organism affecting ohelo and other Vaccinium in Hawaii, and to identify potential solutions. 6) Andrew Kawabata and 7) Randall Hamasaki, County Extension Agents, UH. (CTAHR), East and West Hawaii. Coordinates and conducts workshops and meetings with researchers, farmers and nurseries on the island of Hawaii to assist technological transfers & germplasm distributions. Cooperators: 1) Allan K. Ikawa & Jodi Silva, Big Island Candies Hilo, HI. Provides in-kind developmental research in a real commercial manufacture facility using ohelo berry as the specialty ingredient. 2) Nahla Bassil, Molecular Geneticist, USDA/ARS, Corvallis, OR. Develops molecular markers for identification of the ohelo clones and for germplasm verification among Vaccinium species. 3) Bob Durst, OR. Provides in-kind support for nutrient analysis of ohelo berry collected from various locations in Hawaii. 4) Yongjiang Chang, North American Plants LLC. McMinnville, OR. Provides in-kind support to evaluate tissue culture and nursery procedures in a large scale commercial nursery in Oregon. 5) Ken Love, Tropical Fruit Grower Association; American Culinary Federation Chapter -Kona Kohala Chefs de Cuisine. Provides in-kind support in establishing and maintaining a low elevation ohelo plot in a small farm in Kona and coordinates culinary discovery of the ohelo berry with chefs and students. 6) Amy Strauss, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Coordinates and provides field and nursery supports at three key locations on the island of Hawaii. 7) Tristan Foote, Technician (SCRI grant funded), USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provides field & nursery supports at multiple locations, and laboratory support for the plant pathologist. 8) Claire Arakawa, Technician, USDA/ARS Hilo, HI. Provides tissue culture support critical for early initiation of new clones for in-vitro secure of the germplasm. 9) Milton Yamasaki, Field Manager, UH Waimea, Hamakua, and Kona. Provides physical space to establish nursery and field plantings at different UH stations. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences: farmers, backyard growers, nurserymen, consumers, conservation groups, candy manufactures, chefs, and students are the diverse targets of the project. 1) Farmers: ohelo as a potential new berry and potted ornamental crop uniquely Hawaii. The mix production scheme will be a money maker that utilizes the same labor resource throughout the year for one crop with two products. 2) Conservation groups: the domestication of ohelo reduces the demand for wild ohelo harvest from the mountains which reduces human traffic that damages the fragile environment physically or by introducing weeds and pests. Reduce human pressure in the ohelo habitat also improve that for the nene, the endangered Hawaii geese. 3) Specialty product manufactures: the project will improve the reliability and supply of ohelo berry for product development and production. Ohelo is unique to Hawaii. 4) Students of conservation: this is a model demonstrating how conservation and utilization can work together through sensible cooperation. This is also a good model of science in the real world. Efforts of delivering the science based knowledge in formal and informal settings include: 1) Posters and Power point presentations that identify purposes, objectives, philosophy in the research efforts and reporting the impacts. 2) Extension publication: "Propagation and cultivation of Ohelo" is available freely through the UH CTAHR website, or as hard copies. 3) Extension outreach to stake holders through meeting and workshop including BIAN, Waimea Farmer, and Tropical Fruit Growers Association for distribution of germplasm and information. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Obj. 1. Tissue culture propagation of selected ohelo is successfully demonstrated at NAP, a commercial facility, who also integrated the production with state of art nursery stock system for ohelo nursery liners. The potential impact is to have starters available at a reasonable price. Obj. 2. The molecular fingerprinting system contributes to the accuracy of germplasm verification and identification of ohelo clones and many species in the blueberry and related family. Success in liquid nitrogen storage research allows for low input long-term storage and secure preservation of the genetic resources at the USDA/ARS, National Plant Germplasm System. Establishing the plant nutrient profile of ohelo populations will identify additional clones with higher sensory profiles, and establish details in nutrient components in ohelo. Obj. 3. Research on fungal diseases of Vaccinium including rust will explore environmentally friendly measures in Hawaii to produce ohelo; by selecting drier environment, using simple rain- shelter and isolation from other Vaccinium plantings reduced incidence of rust disease. Ohelo populations will be screened for potential rust tolerance as part of the improvement. Obj. 4. Ohelo plants are tolerant to volcanic fumes "Vog" which is damaging to most ornamental cut flowers in the volcano area. Ohelo has the potential as a new ornamental potted plant for the area. In addition, ohelo is responsive to nursery management practices including pruning, water stress and foliar fertilizer for scheduling vegetative growth and flower production. More research will be conducted with commercial cooperators to confirm the preliminary observations. Obj. 5. Data collection is in progress from various growers and locations for economic analysis of ohelo as a berry and ornamental crop. We ordered 500 liners of t.c. ohelo from NAP to determine the time and cost factors to have a commercial liner. The clonal ohelo will be compared to seedlings in a cooperator nursery for product uniformity, cost and quality. Obj. 6. Preliminary testing suggested that ohelo berries can be frozen and store well for use in value added products. However, since ohelo lacks a distinctive flavor profile and characteristic, more research is required and product development efforts to create additional "wow" factors to improve commercial feasibility as a berry crop. University and county cooperators are looking for additional germplasm for more intense color and flavor. The SCRI funding allowed the project to adopt the multiple agency, multiple location approach on the U.S. Mainland and Hawaii to conduct research on all facets of a new crop through a vertical system approach including breeding and selection, pest and disease management, field and nursery production of ornamental potted plants and fresh berries. The project also emphasizes the conservation and sensible utilization of a natural resource to identify and develop new unique crops and products for Hawaii.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period