Study aims for European funding

Breeding experts are inching towards disease resistance in apples, pears, strawberries and raspberries, and hope to tap into European funding to boost research.

A recent meeting of Europe's leading lights in the world of rosaceous genomics focused on developing DNA markers to improve breeding programmes.

"There's a lot of emphasis on disease resistance," said Dr David Simpson, a breeding-programme leader at East Malling Research, which hosted the two-day event.

"We are closing in on effective molecular methods to find a better way of breeding through disease resistance, and that's a top priority."

He said the 40 delegates who met just before Christmas talked about formalising a European scientific group that would launch a website, undertake joint research and look at applying for EU funds.

Similarities between plants at molecular level meant that know-ledge of agronomic genes and markers in one crop could be used as a shortcut to finding them in another, the group heard.

The wild strawberry, for example, could be used as a genetic model not only for the cultivated straw-berry but for tree fruits like apples and cherries.

"Molecular screening can help to detect the presence of resistant genes. Using DNA fingerprints to identify plants in gene-bank collections can save time and resources by reducing the need for expensive comparative trials," Simpson said.



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

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

The UK fresh-produce sector has reacted with dismay at the latest developments in the ongoing debate, largely conducted out of public view, on whether UK horticulture will still have access to seasonal migrant workers when the UK leaves the EU in 18 months' time.

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, a new report argues.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.


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