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Top 5 -yesterday
- What is the status of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Europe?
- “Our ToBRFV-resistant variety has been preferred by our producers in wide areas since 2020"
- 2022 Year Overview: 10 stories on greenhouse expansion
- "Greek producers, who also purchase their plants from Spanish nurseries, have reported the same quality issue in strawberry plants as Spanish producers"
- New horticultural lighting technical requirements launched
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
- Zambia: "We produce 5,000 units of lettuce per week, per tunnel, year-round"
- UK growers stop planting and put nurseries on sale amidst energy crisis and labor shortage
- "You can't grow on water without lights"
- "High-tech farmer AppHarvest is running out of money"
- German family company switches from tomato cultivation to hydroponic lettuce
New Zealand: Funding to breed full colour blueberries
Through the MBIE Endeavour Fund, Plant & Food Research has received funding to investigate the potential for a new commercial crop that combines the taste and growing characteristics of blueberries with the colourful flesh of bilberries.
Bilberries are a small berry found in Northern Europe that have dark blue-red flesh high in anthocyanins, the compounds that give blueberries their distinctive blue skin and that have been found to be beneficial to human health. However, bilberries are not viable as a commercial crop as they are difficult to cultivate and the berries are highly susceptible to damage when harvested or transported.
The new research programme will breed novel blueberry-bilberry hybrids suited to New Zealand conditions. It is expected that these will be grown and managed in a similar way to traditional blueberries but produce fruit with a sweet, juicy blueberry taste and with the flesh colour, and therefore high anthocyanin concentration, of bilberries.
“Research suggests consumers want fruits with novel characteristics, such as colour, and with added health benefits,” says programme leader Dr Richard Espley. “Blueberries have high concentrations of anthocyanins in their skin which gives them their dark blue appearance. Breeding a hybrid with bilberries, a cousin to blueberries with a natural red-blue flesh, should allow us to develop a new crop that is coloured throughout the fruit. A new type of tasty, full colour berry would provide New Zealand with a unique product in the marketplace.”
As part of the research project, which has been awarded $5 million over the next five years, scientists will also investigate the genetic pathways that control flesh colour in fruits. This will allow breeders to develop better cultivars faster™ by screening seedlings in the hybrid breeding programme at an early stage to select those plants that will produce fruit with coloured flesh to evaluate further. It is anticipated that this knowledge could also be used to inform breeding programmes of other fruits with high flesh colour.
New Zealand produces close to 4,000 tonnes of blueberries each year with a value of $55 million, including $37 million of exports, primarily to Australia.
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Other news in this sector:
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- 2022-11-30 "We strive to make raspberries an affordable fruit for more customers"
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- 2022-11-01 Plenty of variety trials in Mexico and Canada: larger, more resistant varieties are the 'new standard'
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- 2022-10-25 European plant breeding academy announces outstanding student for class 6
- 2022-10-20 ToBRFV-resistant tomato varieties to be launched in Mexico
- 2022-10-14 Production started on new seedless watermelon
- 2022-10-14 The importance of digital phenotying in agriculture
- 2022-10-13 Irish tomato businesses might face delayed start to 2023 growing season
- 2022-10-07 Precision breeding: policymakers deliberate next steps in regulating new crop tool
- 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’