Caneberry (Blackberry and Raspberry) Cultural Studies

  • Development of cultivars to North Carolina and the southern region of the U.S.
  • Freeze damage of floral buds
  • Tunnel production
  • Development of nutrient sufficiency for floricane and primocane fruiting blackberry cultivars
  • Plant growth regulator control of vegetative growth in blackberry

Strawberry breeding

  • Development of new cultivars with superior horticultural traits
  • Development of resistance to fruit and crown rot
  • Two new cultivars were released in 2019, ‘Rocco’ and ‘Liz’

Post Harvest and Bioactive Compound Studies

Raspberry and Blackberry Breeding

  • Two breeding programs have existed at NCSU. The first program, headed by William Carlos released several red raspberry cultivars including: Dixie (1938) Mandarin (1955), Southland (joint with USDA 1963), one black raspberry Manteo (1953) and two dewberry- type blackberries, Cameron (1938) and Carolina (1955) (See article).
  • The early breeding program ceased to exist in the early 1960s and most of the breeding material was lost. Recently one of the cultivars from that program, ‘Mandarin’ was found. See article on Mandarin.
  • In the current breeding program our primary objectives are to develop new raspberry cultivars that are tolerant to the high summer temperatures and to the fluctuating winter temperatures. A smaller part of our program is focused on the development of fall fruiting blackberries. In both programs, we are looking for berries that are great tasting, large, pest tolerant and have good shelf life.
  • A U.S. Plant Patent was awarded in 2010 for a primocane-fruiting red raspberry, ‘Nantahala’. This cultivar is adapted to the high elevations of western North Carolina.
  • A U.S. Plant Patent was awarded in 2012 for a thornless blackberry, ‘Von’.

Selected Publications

  • Samtani, J.B., C.R. Rom, H. Friedrich, S.A. Fennimore, C.E. Finn, A. Petran, R. W. Wallace, M. P. Pritts, G. Fernandez, C.A. Chase, C. Kubota, B. Berefurd. 2019. The status and future of the strawberry industry in the United States. HortTechnology. DOI: .
  • Adhikari, T, G. Fernandez, G. Chacon, F. Louws. 2019. First Report of Anthracnose Causing both Crown and Fruit Rot of Strawberry by Colletotrichum siamense in North Carolina. Plant Disease. DOI: 10.1094/pdis-02-19-0314-pdn
  • Jacobs, R., T. Adhikari, J. Pattison, G. C. Yencho, G. Fernandez, and F. Louws. 2019. Inheritance of Resistance to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum in Strawberry. Phytopathology. 109: 428-435.
  • David P. Livingston III, Tan D. Tuong, Mark Hoffman, Gina Fernandez. 2018. Protocol for Producing Three-Dimensional Infrared Video of Freezing in Plants. Jove, Issue 139. e58025. doi: 10.3791/58025
  • Perkins-Veazie, P., J. Pattison, G.E. Fernandez and G. Ma. 2016. Fruit Quality and Composition of Two Advanced North Carolina Strawberry Selections. International J. Fruit Science. 16:(Sup 1): 220-227.
  • Beck, J. E., Schroeder-Moreno, M. S., Fernandez, G. E., Grossman, J. M., & Creamer, N. G. 2016. Effects of cover crops, compost, and vermicompost on strawberry yields and nitrogen availability in North Carolina. HortTechnology, 26(5), 604-613.
  • Bradish, C. M., Yousef, G. G., Ma, G. Y., Perkins-Veazie, P., & Fernandez, G. E. (2015). Anthocyanin, carotenoid, tocopherol, and ellagitannin content of red raspberry cultivars grown under field or high tunnel cultivation in the Southeastern United States. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 140(2), 163-171.
  • Rysin, O., McWhirt, A., Fernandez, G., Louws, F. J., & Schroeder-Moreno, M. (2015). Economic viability and environmental impact assessment of three different strawberry production systems in the Southeastern United States. HortTechnology, 25(4), 585-594.
  • Kim, M. J., Perkins-Veazie, P., Ma, G. Y., & Fernandez, G. (2015). Shelf life and changes in phenolic compounds of organically grown blackberries during refrigerated storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 110, 257-263.
  • Molina-Bravo, R., G.E. Fernandez and B. Sosinski. 2014. Quantitative trait loci analysis of tolerance to temperature fluctuations in winter, fruit characteristics, flower color, and prickle-free canes in raspberry. Molecular Breeding. 33(2), 267-280.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and P. Perkins-Veazie. 2013. Yield and post harvest attributes of caneberries grown under high tunnels and in the open field in North Carolina. Gina Fernandez and Penny Perkins. Acta Hort. 987: 89-98.
  • Fernandez, G.E., Perkins-Veazie, P. and J. R. Ballington. 2013. ‘Von’ a new blackberry cultivar. HortScience. Accepted.
  • Burrack, H.J. G.E. Fernandez, T.Spivey and D. A. Kraus. 2013. Variation in selection and utilization of host crops in the field and laboratory by Drosophila suzukii Matsumara (Diptera: Drosophilidae), an invasive frugivore Pest Management Science. Accepted manuscript online: 5 FEB 2013 12:54PM EST | DOI: 10.1002/ps.3489
  • Bradish, C.M., P. Perkins-Veazie, G.E. Fernandez, G. Xie, W. Jia. 2012. Comparison of Flavonoid Composition of Red Raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) Grown in the Southern United States. J. Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 605779-5786.
  • Molina-Bravo, R., B.R. Sosinski, C. Arellano, and G.E. Fernandez. 2011. A Protocol to Assess Heat Tolerance in a Segregating Population of Raspberry Using Chlorophyll Fluorescence. Scientia Hort. In Press.
  • Garland, B. C., M.S. Schroeder-Moreno, Fernandez, G.E. and N.G. Creamer. 2011. Influence of Summer Cover Crops and Mycorrhizal Fungi on Strawberry Production in the Southeastern United States. HortSci. 46(7):985–992.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and J.R. Ballington. 2010. Performance of Primocane-fruiting Experimental Blackberry Cultivars in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Hort Tech. 20 (6):996-1000.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and J.R. Ballington. 2009. ‘Nantahala’ red raspberry. HortScience. 44:25-26.
  • Tzanetakis, I.E., T.L. Guzmán-Baeny, Z.P.VanEsbroeck, G.E. Fernandez, and R. R. Martin. 2009. First report of Impatiens necrotic spot virus in blackberry in the United States. Plant Disease. 93:432.
  • Warmund, M.R., P. Guinan and G. Fernandez. 2008. Temperatures and cold damage to small fruit crops across the eastern U.S. associated with the April 2007 Freeze. HortScience. 43:1643-1647.
  • Ballington, J.R. and G.E. Fernandez. 2008. Rubus breeding for the Southeastern United States. Acta Hort. 777:87-90.
  • Leandro, L.F.S., L. M. Ferguson, F. J. Louws, and G. E. Fernandez. 2007. Strawberry growth and productivity in fumigated compared to compost-amended production systems. HortSci. 42:227-231. (Author order is from most significant to least, but program director is last)
  • Leandro, L.F.S., T. Guzman, L.M. Ferguson, G.E. Fernandez, and F.J. Louws. 2007. Population dynamics of trichoderma in fumigated and compost-amended soil and on strawberry roots. Applied Soil Ecology. 35:237-246.
  • Sydorovych, O., C.D. Safley, L.M. Ferguson, E.B. Poling, G.E. Fernandez, P.M. Brannen, D.L. Monks and F.J. Louws. 2006. Economic evaluation of methyl bromide alternatives for the production of strawberries in the southeastern United StatesHort Tech. 16:118-128.
  • Safley, C., O. Boldea, and G. Fernandez. 2006. Estimated costs of producing, harvesting, and marketing blackberries in the Southeastern United States. Hort Tech. 16:109-117 (Author order is from most significant to least, but program director is last)
  • Martin, R.R., I.E. Tzanetakis, R. Gergerich, G. Fernandez and Z. Pesic. 2004. Blackberry yellow vein associated virus: A new crinivirus found in blackberry. Acta Hort 656:137-142.
  • Fernandez, G. E. and J.R. Ballington. 2003. Double cropping of strawberries in an annual system using conditioned plug plants and high tunnels. Acta Hort. 614:547-552.
  • Butler, L.M., G.E. Fernandez, and F.J. Louws. 2002. Strawberry plant growth parameters and yield among transplants of different types and from different geographic sources, grown in a plasticulture systemHortTechnology. Vol. 12:6-9.
  • Fernandez, G.E., L.M. Butler, and F.J. Louws. 2001. Strawberry growth and development in an annual plasticulture system. HortScience. Vol. 36:100-103.
  • Fernandez, G.E. 2001. Fall-applied row covers enhance yield in plasticulture strawberriesHortTechnology. 11:440-444.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and M.P. Pritts. 1996. Carbon supply reduction has a minimal influence on current year’s red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) Fruit production. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 121:473-477.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and M.P. Pritts. 1994. Growth, carbon acquisition and source-sink relationships in ‘Titan’ red raspberry. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 119:1163-1168.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and M.P. Pritts. 1993. Growth and source-sink relationships in ‘Titan’ red raspberry. Acta Hort. 352:151-157.
  • Clark, J.R., K. Irvine and G.E. Fernandez. 1993. Effects of gibberellic acid on seed traces of ‘Venus’ and ‘Saturn’ grapes. J. Small Fruit and Vit. 2:11-19.
  • Patten, K., E. Neuendorff, G. Nimr, J.R. Clark and G. Fernandez. 1991. Cold injury of southern blueberries as a function of germplasm and season of flower bud development. HortScience 26:18-20.
  • Fernandez, G.E., J.R. Clark and J.N. Moore. 1991. Effect of seed coat manipulation on the germination of stenospermocarpic grape embryos cultured in ovulo. HortScience 26:1220.
  • Fernandez, G.E. and J.R. Clark. 1991. In vitro propagation of the erect thornless blackberry ‘Navaho’. HortScience 26:1219.


  • NC451, ‘Nantahala’ primocane fruiting red raspberry. Gina Fernandez and James R. Ballington. US Plant Patent 20689. 2010.
  • Blackberry named ‘Von’ US Plant Patent US14/121,381. 2014.