- Production Director Phalaenopsis - Taiwan
- Flower Grower - Canada
- Trader - Buyer Zachtfruit en Exoten
- (Junior) Account Manager France
- Installation Support Engineer (Supervisor)
- Teeltspecialisten Engeland
- Commercial Support Coordinator (32-40 hours)
- Sr Construction Project Manager
- China country manager
- Commercial Key Account Manager
Top 5 -yesterday
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
Plant breeders take cues from consumers to improve kale
Traits of importance for plant production, such as resistance to disease, pests and drought are often a major focus for plant breeders. Consumers, however, are usually more interested in the culinary and aesthetic qualities of vegetables that directly impact their preparation in the kitchen.
Cornell vegetable breeder Phillip Griffiths, a professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, and doctoral student Hannah Swegarden have embarked on a program to identify the different leaf shapes, colors, flavors and textures favored by consumers, and breed for those traits.
Hannah Swegarden, right, and technician Matt Wavrick transplant a kale cultivar from a research field at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, New York. (Matt Hayes/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
Kale is the same species as many other important agricultural crops consumed around the world. Cabbage, broccoli, collard, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and kailaan, like kale, are all members of the species Brassica oleracea. The natural genetic diversity available in the species provides opportunities to further develop and promote a nutritionally important crop, according to Griffiths, who first started working with African kale or “sukuma wiki” for Kenyan consumers more than a decade ago. At that time, kale was still relatively uncommon in Western diets.
“We have been able to identify and generate diversity through natural cross-breeding, enabling selection of unique types that may be important not just for international and emerging markets, but also for supporting the production of a crop that’s highly nutritious and can promote new markets in the U.S.,” Griffiths said.
Griffiths and Swegarden are focusing efforts on developing new kale cultivars, including the evaluation of hybrid combinations. New cultivars in Griffiths’ breeding pipeline will push consumer expectations for kale, blurring the current color boundaries of greens and purples and introducing a range of new leaf and plant shapes.
“Kale in the U.S. is a relatively new crop. Aside from being nutritious and somewhat green, it hasn’t been well defined what traits consumers want in kale,” Swegarden said. “The diversity we have within the Cornell breeding program can be applied to understand current consumer preference and provide markets with in-demand products.”
Hundreds of different kale cultivars are bred at Cornell to identify and select different traits to meet consumer preference. (Matt Hayes/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
As part of the program, Swegarden has been gathering feedback from seed producers, growers, supermarket managers and consumers. She plans to use the information to breed for consumer quality traits.
She is partnering with Cornell’s Sensory Evaluation Center to perform consumer trials to develop a consumer kale lexicon and establish a trait hierarchy that can be used to guide the breeding program. This data will determine which hybrids and breeding lines to select in the field. Swegarden predicts that in the next few years consumers will see an even richer diversity of leafy greens available to them.
“We are connecting with consumers to find out exactly what they want, and, if successful, we will be able to deliver marketable cultivars that appeal to both a consumer’s eyes and taste buds,” she said.
The research is supported by the New York Farm Viability Institute through the specialty crop block grants program.
Source: Cornell University
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2022-10-06 Night-time heat stress: “Research will pave the way for tolerant varieties that growers can use”
- 2022-10-03 Euroseeds replies to European Greens' report
- 2022-09-30 KeyGene early adopter of MGI sequencing
- 2022-09-30 Mega aeroponic greenhouse multiplies potato seeds in Rwanda
- 2022-09-30 Family behind James Bond franchise claims to have named ‘broccoli’
- 2022-09-29 Totam Seeds presents new tomato varieties
- 2022-09-27 Multiplex gene editing creates tomato cultivars with fruit colors
- 2022-09-26 New varieties, soil health and hydroponic cultivation at Enza Zaden Summer Field Days
- 2022-09-26 High production in data-driven cucumber greenhouse BASF 's Gravenzande
- 2022-09-08 UCF Botanical Society to create enhanced peppers through plant breeding project
- 2022-09-08 Researchers propose new framework for regulating engineered crops
- 2022-09-07 RaboResearch: Specialty crops to test appetite for gene editing
- 2022-09-02 “Food has to be tasty to drive repeat purchase and growth”
- 2022-08-29 UK: Drones proven to aid plant breeding in identifying valuable new crop traits
- 2022-08-12 US (NE): 'Powerful' cherry tomato judged best tasting
- 2022-07-20 Satara duo’s tomato diary provides farmers a step-by-step guide to grow quality produce
- 2022-07-15 China to build international agricultural breeding center in Hainan
- 2022-07-15 Excessive-protein, edible crop selection developed that ‘thrives’ on fallow land
- 2022-07-08 The world's tiniest tomato: difficult to grow, but consumers love it
- 2022-07-07 Tomato Rosamunda on shelves in shops all over Poland