2016 Volume 66 Issue 1 Pages 34-45
In Japan, few grape cultivars related to Vitis vinifera existed 200 years ago, on account of Japan’s high rainfall. Many V. labruscana and vinifera cultivars were introduced to Japan in the 19th century. Labruscana was grown instead of vinifera, mainly because of severe disease problems and a high incidence of berry cracking. Grape breeding for table use started in the 20th century, with the goal of combining the berry quality of vinifera with the ease of cultivation of labruscana. By 1945, three strategies were used: 1) crossing among introduced diploid vinifera and vinifera-related cultivars of Japanese origin, 2) interspecific crossing in tetraploid cultivars, and 3) interspecific crossing in diploid cultivars, resulting in ‘Neo Muscat’, ‘Kyoho’, and ‘Muscat Bailey A’. Later, tetraploid interspecific crossing over generations developed many ‘Kyoho’-related cultivars, including ‘Pione’, many of which have large berries, intermediate flesh texture between the two species, a labruscan or neutral flavor, and moderate disease resistance. Interspecific diploid crossing over generations developed ‘Shine Muscat’ in 2006, with large berries, crispy flesh, a muscat flavor, no cracking, seedless fruit by gibberellin application, and moderate resistance to downy mildew and ripe rot.