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Project name Blackberry red drupelet disorder (reversion)
Funding bodies Hort Innovation, and Raspberries and Blackberries Australia
Lead researcher Associate Professor Dugald Close, PhD Candidate Max Edgley
Red drupelet reversion blackberries

This project commenced in 2015 to investigate the post-harvest reddening of blackberry drupelets, which is a major challenge for the industry. The disorder known as Red Drupelet Disorder can affect up to 50 per cent of a crop and reduces marketability of the fruit.

The project considered harvest and post-harvest conditions including temperature, plant water status, storage, handing, and transport, as well as nitrogen fertiliser supply during harvest.

Results show that the disorder can be affected by a range of factors including handling and temperature.

  • Impact, compression and vibration bruising is a major factor
  • Fruit harvested above 25 degrees Celsius has an increased rate of red drupelet disorder
  • Fruit cooled rapidly after bruising is more prone to the disorder
  • High nitrogen fertiliser application
  • Early season fruit is more prone