Blueberry breeding consortium launched at the James Hutton Institute

A pan-European blueberry breeding consortium has been set up to fund a programme which will deliver new and improved blueberry varieties that will be better suited to European growing and market conditions.

The consortium, which held its inaugural meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee
(Scotland) this month (August 2017), has been set up, and will be managed by, the Institute’s commercial subsidiary company, James Hutton Limited. The project will be funded by its commercial partners for five years in the first instance, with the hope of extending the breeding programme beyond that date. Confirmed partners include the Netherlands’ Driesvenplant BV and Schrijnwerkers Plants BV, the Ukraine’s TzOV "Dolyna-Agro" and the UK’s James Hutton Limited.

Plant breeder Dr Susan McCallum from the James Hutton Institute is taking overall responsibility for the development of the breeding programme and delivery of the science. 

At its initial meeting, she said: "As with any soft fruit, varieties that are suitable to their local environment, are large to quickly fill punnets, have a good shelf and storage life and most importantly, taste and look good to consumers, are in high demand from European blueberry growers, so these are just some of the qualities we’ll be hoping to find in new blueberry varieties." 

McCallum added: "The demand for blueberries in Europe continues to increase and there is a real lack of varieties specifically suited for European conditions. Using conventional and advanced molecular breeding techniques, it will be approximately year three or four of the project before we see advanced material available for trialling by consortium members.  

"It is very exciting to get the ball rolling with what is sure to be a fruitful project for all concerned. We certainly have the correct people both with our commercial members and the James Hutton team to make this another successful breeding programme."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

The British Tomato Growers Association (TGA) conference today (21 September) heard a range of perspectives on what changes lie in store for the sector and how to anticipate them.

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

As the British apple season begins, English Apples & Pears (EAP) is warning that growers will feel the effects of both a late frost in spring and also constrained labour supply.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon