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GoodBerry project seeks to improve European softfruit crops

Berry fruits, and particularly strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants, are very popular throughout Europe, and demand is generally much higher than supply. The GoodBerry project aims to reinforce the competitiveness of high quality berry fruit production in Europe. To achieve this, knowledge of the processes that lead to good quality fruits subject to changing environmental constraints (climate change, crop management) will be enriched through the use of different “omic” approaches (genomics, metabolomics, etc.).

The project is based on developing a multi-scale and integrative strategy to identify new molecular factors (metabolites/genes/alleles/loci) that can sustain high yields and high fruit quality under extreme environmental conditions. GoodBerry will make available new molecular tools enabling the deployment of innovative approaches in genomics and metabolomics, and the supply of global solutions to face the challenges brought about by climate change: maintaining/increasing yield by improving plant quality, crop resilience and food quality.

This project is based on six work packages, one of which is being led by INRA at the Bordeaux-Aquitaine Research Centre (WP3):
  • Adaptation of plants: identification of high-performance genetic materials that present a good balance between fruit production and nutritional quality under unfavourable growing conditions and in different geographical production regions;
  • Cultivation practices: adaptation to climate change through the development of new crop management sequences;
  • Genetic architecture (QTL) subjected to different environments: identification of a strawberry population planted in contrasting geographical and technical environments;
  • Effects of the environment on fruit quality: multivariate analysis, phenotyping, genomics and sets of metabolomic data to identify new factors controlling the production and quality of fruits under suboptimal environmental conditions;
  • Data management and analysis: generation of a complete database containing harmonised protocols and analytical data on different cultivated berry fruits planted in different countries;
  • Dissemination, exploitation and training: training of staff in public and private institutions. Dissemination of the results to user communities and the general public.
The GoodBerry project benefits from an overall budget of €4,870,000 for a period of four years. It involves 19 partner institutions in Europe, China and Chile. There are three partners from France: INRA, Université de Bordeaux and the CIREF (Inter-regional Centre for Strawberry Research and Experimentation). The consortium includes research institutions with an international reputation and considerable experience in varietal breeding and plant genomics, and small and medium-sized innovative technology companies active in plant breeding and in vitro culture. At all stages of the project, GoodBerry also involves several groupings of representatives from the sector such as farmers and berry fruit producers.

Source: INRA

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