Breeding

UC Davis to license strawberry in Europe, Mediterranean and South America

A new University of California strawberry cultivar, UC9, is harvested in Prunevale, California. The goal of the breeding program is to develop new, commercially useful varieties of strawberry plants that have higher-quality berries, are less vulnerable to pests and diseases and can be grown more…

Breeding companies are leaving Europe due to CRISPR-Cas ruling

Research assignments that are being withdrawn, companies that are deciding to relocate their R&D departments outside Europe — it is gradually becoming clear that the decision by the European Court of Justice to treat CRISPR-Cas as a form of genetic modification is having far-reaching consequences.…

Pieter Vermeulen to focus on high-tech tomato growing

From knife and boots to the excitement of the greenhouse

He has already put on his boots and has his knife at hand to cut the various vegetables in the field. It's Tuesday morning, September 25, 9 am, and Pieter Vermeulen, representative for Sakata in the Benelux and Scandinavia, is fully prepared for the annual open field demo days. This is his last edition…

The challenge to improve crops in a changing world

Scientists believe that using genomics and biotechnology in plant breeding leads to improved seed varieties that can help farmers to get higher yields to feed billions of people around the world. One of those scientists is Dr Matthew Willmann, Director of Cornell University’s Plant Transformation…

De Ruiter Experience Center welcomes 2018th visitor of 2018

On March 22, 2018, De Ruiter opened its brand new, state-of-the-art demo glasshouse, the De Ruiter Experience Center. De Ruiter then set the goal to receive 1,000 visitors per year. Six months after opening, De Ruiter has welcomed its 2018th professional from the vegetable industry to the facilities in…

Support crop conservation... while playing board games

Makers of the award-winning board game Catan have come up with a new way to learn about the importance of crop conservation, while also raising money for the Crop Trust. The standard Catan base game requires players to compete for resources like crops, fuel and construction materials as they seek dominion over the…

CAN (ON): Testing, Testing, TOV

Travis Banks knows the pressure of a deadline. The research scientist, who’s overseeing Vineland’s program to enhance flavour and production traits in greenhouse tomatoes, is feeling it right now as the target date nears to bring a new, tastier hybrid tomato-on-the-vine (TOV) to market by 2022. That might sound like all the time in the world, but…

Eveline van Oord (26) on her work at Rijk Zwaan

"Responsible work in a great team"

For students in horticulture, the world is at their feet. Also in breeding, the creation of new vegetable varieties. Eveline van Oord works at breeding company Rijk Zwaan in Fijnaart: "Being occupied with the workings of a plant is what I find interesting. The work is never boring and you have to keep…

Research seeks more productive tomato for southeast Turkey

A project is being carried out in Sanliurfa, a city located in southeastern Turkey, to identify the best tomato variety that is suitable for the city’s climate. That specific variety needs to have resistance to high temperatures, drought and salt. 15 different varieties are being planted as part of the project and…

The Gemini basil: an alternative from Sais

Last August Sais introduced a new variety of Italian basil: Gemini. The new variety, which increases the already wide Sais catalogue of Italian basil, carries an important innovation that gives it a high tolerance to Downy mildew (Peronospora belbharii) and Fusarium (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilici). Basil Gemini-…

Open Days at BASF in 's-Gravenzande

Closer planting, a crispy bite and trio cultivation in lettuce

In both the demo greenhouse and the demo fields at Nunhems, the BASF vegetable seed branch, there is a lot of attention for lettuce. Especially during the open days in 's-Gravenzande in week 39. This will also be the case in the coming years with a continuously growing lettuce team. For example, this…

Knox and Knox Core Product of the Year at Polish Fresh Market

Knox and Knox Core have won an award during the Fresh Market 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. On 27 September, the prize for Product of the Year 2018 was awarded to Knox. An honorable prize for the innovation that Rijk Zwaan introduced in 2016, during the Fruit Logistica in Berlin.   Slow discoloration Knox is a trait in…

‘Turbocharging’ photosynthesis increases plant biomass

Scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Cornell have boosted a carbon-craving enzyme called RuBisCO to turbocharge photosynthesis in corn. The discovery promises to be a key step in improving agricultural efficiency and yield, according to new research in Nature Plants, Oct. 1. Increased RuBisCO assists…

KeyGene paper in Genetics:

"Mendel was actually looking for innovative crops"

Gregor Mendel, the monk who became famous for his pioneering work in plant genetics, initially wanted to create new, better crops. Only at a later stage did he become fascinated by how plant traits are inherited. This is the conclusion of a study published by plant breeding researcher Peter van Dijk in…

Greet Lambrecht of VZW Vitale Rassen

"Only seeds that have commercial value remain"

VZW Vitale Rassen is a new Belgian organization that is working on preserving crop varieties. "We are a new initiative, but we took over from an existing organization, the Netwerk Zelf Zaden telen  (Network self-cultivating with Seeds)”, says one of the board members, Greet Lambrecht. “Growers always used to propagate seeds…

Siberian scientists are breeding a new black tomato

In Novosibirsk, scientists are getting ready to collect some exotic crops: the seeds of black tomatoes. Black tomatoes reportedly contain higher amounts of useful substances than regular ones. They boast their unusual color due to the high amount of carotenoids. Carotenoids make blood vessels more elastic, while lycopene…

Naktuinbouw about UPOV-BMT

"Small steps forward: particularly large vegetables offer opportunities"

In the week of September 10, Hedich Teunissen and Amanda van Dijk from Naktuinbouw participated in the meeting of UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) about molecular techniques. The meeting took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. "It was very useful to sit at this table as…

US: An introduction to Rutgers downy mildew resistant sweet basils

After nearly a decade’s worth of research and breeding efforts Rutgers Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) sweet basils are now available to commercial growers with seed for homeowners and gardeners becoming available in 2019. Since 2007, when basil downy mildew (BDM) was first identified in FL, the disease has…

"Super-tomato shows what plant scientists can do"

The world produces some 800 billion tomatoes each year — but how many of them are worth eating? Thousands of years of breeding have produced a fruit that often suits farmers and sellers more than consumers. Vines now grow in an orderly fashion, and produce lots of tomatoes that stay in place until they…

CRISPR could bring groundcherries to market

Most people have never tasted a groundcherry; the small, sweet relative of the tomato that plant biologist Zachary Lippman describes as "tropically intoxicating." That's because the groundcherry plant, with its long, straggly branches and sporadically ripening fruit, is unsuitable for large-scale…

ASTA welcomes new Sr. Director, International Programs & Policy

The American Seed Trade Association announces the hiring of Ms. Abigail Struxness as Senior Director of International Programs & Policy. “We’re excited to welcome Abigail to the…

The Netherlands: new blue, or rather, green zone?

Transforming the Netherlands to a Blue Zone - this is what KeyGene in Wageningen wants to contribute to in the field of vegetable cultivation. The new research greenhouse with associated laboratory facilities is a step in that direction. It was officially opened last week. New varieties and cultivation…

How do plant cells know in which direction to divide?

Wageningen University & Research scientists have found an answer to a fundamental question botanists have been asking for over a century: how do plant cells know in which direction to divide? “We finally understand for the first time how the mechanism may work,” says development biologist Ben…

Newly discovered enzyme is 'firing pin' for plant immunity

Just like humans, plants have an immune system that helps them fight off infections. Plant immunity has some important differences: they don’t make antibodies and can’t fight off the same bug more quickly months or years later. However, plant cells can identify pathogens and react to them, often by…

Jumping genes drive chromosome changes in strawberries

The transfer of gene cassettes across generations of strawberry plants has been shown to drive changes in sex chromosomes, according to a team led by a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences. Distinguished Professor of Evolutionary Ecology Tia-Lynn Ashman, along…

US (NY): New high-yield strawberry, raspberry varieties released

These berries yield like the dickens. Cornell’s berry breeding program is releasing two new varieties, which will be available for planting in spring 2019: a strawberry, Dickens, and a raspberry, Crimson Treasure. Both varieties produce large fruits with vibrant colors that maintain peak flavor for longer than most…

At breeder TomaTech, it's not just about the tomatoes

TomaTech, the new player in the field of high-tech tomato breeding has opened up shop and is ready to showcase its business. Over the last 10 years TomaTech has focused on developing tomato varieties mainly for the Mediterranean Basin (Spain, Italy and Turkey). Recently TomaTech decided to divert more…

US (PA): CRISPR mushroom is changing the dialogue around GMOs

The term "genetically modified organism" is almost guaranteed to spark debate in the news and social media, on Internet message boards, and at the water cooler. Now, the work of a faculty researcher in the college has generated a new wave of attention to the ongoing dialogue surrounding GMOs. In a letter…

Groundwork for playing with the architecture of plants

Growing tomatoes at the same height so that they can be easily picked by a harvesting robot. Growing deeper roots where the soil is dry. These types of changes to plant architecture may well be enabled in the future thanks to scientists from Wageningen University & Research who have shown how to…

How nuclear science helps improve food

Over 400 experts from around the world are at the IAEA headquarters to take part in the International Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology. Nuclear techniques can be used to generate changes in the plants' DNA and produce varieties that improve their yield and quality. Source: IAEA

ASTA highlights Farm Bill Conference priorities

In a letter to Farm Bill Conferees, the American Seed Trade Association highlights a number of proposal areas that they say are of critical importance to the seed industry,…

"Convenience is a trend in breeding"

Asia’s fresh convenience market has big growth potential. How does Enza Zaden attune their products to the convenience trend? Chris Groot, Produce Chain manager, and Anne Marie Schoevaars, post-harvest researcher from the Netherlands, are two of the speakers at the Asiafruit Congress. They will both…

Crop innovators partner to unlock intrinsic yield and sustainability genes

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, and Agribody Technologies, an emerging agricultural biotechnology company, are partnering to deliver non-GMO yield and sustainability traits for seed companies working in corn, soy, alfalfa, cotton,…

University of Toronto to develop disease-resistant vegetables

Plant diseases are a major challenge for greenhouse growers, often responsible for up to 20 per cent in annual crop loss. But a team of biologists at the University of Toronto is using advanced genomics to develop greater disease resistance in some common greenhouse vegetables. The project builds on…

What’s new in sweet potatoes and tomatoes

Marc Zienkiewicz of the SeedWorld podcasts reported live from the National Association of Plant Breeders Annual Meeting in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. In this episode , a tour of the Vineland Research & Innovation Centre.

Azerbaijan taking steps for production of vegetable seeds

A new large camp with a closed area of six hectares and an open area of 30 hectares is being laid at the Research Institute for Vegetable Growing in Azerbaijan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilham Guliyev said at a conference in Baku Aug. 7. "As you know, funds have been allocated based on the…

Turkey: New tomato becomes more tasty under stress

The Izmir Technology Institute Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics has developed a tomato variety that can actually become more tasty when faced with stress conditions, such as drought or salt. The productivity of this particular variety is observed to be 50 % more as well.  This variety was developed…

Canada invests in vegetable breeding research

Kirsty Duncan, Canada's Minister of Science and Sport, announced $6.7 million in federal funding for seven new projects under Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) that will match researchers with companies to develop new gene-based technologies in health care, agriculture and…

"Gene-editing startups ignite the next 'Frankenfood' fight"

In a suburban Minneapolis laboratory, a tiny company that has never turned a profit is poised to beat the world’s biggest agriculture firms to market with the next potential breakthrough in genetic engineering - a crop with “edited” DNA. Calyxt Inc, an eight-year-old firm co-founded by a genetics…

New varieties incoming

Next stage for Advanced Berry Breeding

Since the beginning of this year, Advanced Berry Breeding (ABB) has entered into its new office in Hedel, the Netherlands, and is at full strength with a few new colleagues.…

Inari secures $40 million to expand plant breeding technologies

Inari has completed a $40 million Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to $55 million. Inari was founded in 2016 by Flagship Pioneering, which led and…

Proteins generate 'wow factors' in fruits and vegetables

Novelty and health benefits play a major role in influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions and are often controlled in the plant by a family of proteins called MYBs.…

More hot peppers grown in Argentina in recent years

The volume of spicy peppers that entered the Central Market of Buenos Aires (MCBA) has experienced a marked rise during the last campaigns. According to the MCBA, this exponential growth is due to the heterogeneity of the seeds used for the production of hot peppers that supply said market, among other…

US (NM): Inside the world’s only chile pepper research institute

It’s hard to imagine New Mexico without its peppers, which in the region retain the Spanish spelling of chile. The long pods, whether green or red, are a tasty part of local life, where they’re essential ingredients, an artistic motif, and a $500 million annual industry. If farmers or pepper-lovers in…

Brazil: A cherry tomato with more sugar and lycopene

Brazilian researchers managed to develop a new cherry tomato that contains higher levels of sugar and lycopene, and that presents a greater natural resistance to diseases.…

Video: Collecting crop wild relatives

The newest Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) video is live and highlights what is being done to secure the wild relatives of our major food plants: In this video we hear from CWR seed collecting partners in Malaysia and Lebanon, two of 24 countries involved in this global collecting effort. Learn about the role…

The art of the multilateral deal

Imagine I’m your neighbour, and I have something you want, a tool say, to fix your car. Can we come to some arrangement that will make both of us happy? Well, I could just give you the thing as a present, for example, if I don’t need it anymore, or I have a spare one. Or I could lend it to you for a specified period. Or I could…

GMO eggplant crop expands in Bangladesh

Farmers are continuing to adopt Bt eggplant (brinjal) in Bangladesh, resulting in reduced pesticide use and higher incomes, according to a new paper authored by scientists…

Seed production in Tasmania

Most plants in the world propagate through seeds. Our ancestors discovered already very early that by harvesting and sowing seeds of selected species they could produce food much easier. Very soon we also discovered that by selecting the best individual plants we could enhance the quality of the species and produce more food or…

Thanks to gene-editing

‘Weird, new fruits soon to hit shelves’

While researchers have previously produced plants with specific traits through traditional breeding techniques, experts say new technologies like the gene-editing tool…

Tinkerbell now also available in purple

Baby bell pepper gets new colour

The baby bell pepper Tinkerbell of Eminent recently had its colour range expanded. Besides red, yellow and green, Eminent Food now also has purple in their range. The purple Tinkerbell was developed…

European Court:

“CRISPR Cas and other new plant breeding techniques are GMO”

The European Court of Justice has issued its much expected ruling regarding the interpretation of Directive 2001/18 concerning New Plant Breeding Technologies. In essence, it has made most New Plant Breeding Technologies that use new mutagenesis techniques subject to conventional GMO regulation. This…


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