Joybells: Production and export of table grapes
Joybells is a dark red, seedless grape cultivar ripening in the early mid-season (from mid-January in the Hex valley). Berries are crunchy with good attachment and excellent eating quality and have very good cold storage ability. Joybells’ maternal parent is Sunred, which has soft, green rudimentary seeds and thus germination protocols for hard seeds could not be used. Embryo rescue (basic tissue culture techniques) was employed to develop off-spring plants and Joybells is one of these.
Although there are numerous table grape cultivars, there is a need for cultivars better suited for production under South African climate conditions.
Joybells was released from the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij’s table grape breeding programme on recommendation from the table grape industry after it was thoroughly evaluated locally.
Joybells has slightly bell-shaped berries with excellent eating quality. Berries are crunchy with very good sugar and acid balance. Cold storage ability is very good, which is essential for the South African producer, because the bulk of the table grape crop is exported.
Idea behind the technology
To breed new table grape cultivars which are well-adapted to the South African climate and in demand from consumers. Such cultivars should also be produced with high economic returns, require minimum manipulations for good berry colour and bunch thinning, have excellent eating quality and cold storage ability (to be shipped to overseas markets) and good fertility.