Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Brody


pollination, selfing, blueberry, fruit set, seed set, flowers


Some flowering plants require cross pollination, while others rely on selfing. Many, like highbush blueberries, use both, but one method may still be more effective. Cross pollination has been studied in blueberry cultivars which have shown a variety of results. I looked at if outcrossing improved berry traits in cultivars Blueray and Bluecrop. I pollinated Blueray and Bluecrop flowers with within-bush, within-cultivar, and between-cultivar pollen. The proportion of flowers that set fruit, berry mass, viable seed count, proportion of viable seeds, large seed count, proportion of large seed count, and sugar content of berries were compared across cultivars and pollination treatment. Fruit set, viable seed count, proportion of viable seeds, and sugar content showed no significant difference. However, for both cultivars, within-cultivar crossing resulted in smaller berries than selfing or between-cultivar crossing. Additionally, large seed count and proportion were significantly greater in cultivar-crossed berries. Upon this finding, I looked at the correlation between large seeds and mass and found significance. Although bush-crossing negatively impacted the blueberries, cultivar-crossing improved them, so outcrossing between Blueray and Bluecrop produces mixed results. Overall, outcrossing did not have a net positive effect on Blueray and Bluecrop blueberries and potentially should be avoided by farmers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.