Breeding

Spain's most powerful R&D sector threatened by seed piracy

The pirates we are talking about don't wear hooks or eye patches, but they plunder about one hundred million Euro per year from the Spanish agricultural sector. In the short…

Bad news for Global Seed Vault

Svalbard is slowly melting

The Norwegian Environment Agency commissioned a report in order to provide basic information for climate change effect studies and climate change adaptation in Svalbard. It includes descriptions of historical, as well as projections for future climate development in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and ocean, and it…

New research characterizes evolution of genetic pathway for reproductive fitness in flowering plants

Small RNAs (sRNAs) are key regulators involved in plant growth and development. Two groups of sRNAs are abundant during development of pollen in the anthers – a critical process for reproductive success. One of these pathways for sRNA production, previously believed present in grasses and related…

DRCE1275, De Ruiter Seeds

New name for summer cucumber: Gotja

After having tested the variety DRCE 1275 extensively at various locations, De Ruiter is now selling the variety in the Netherlands and Belgium for summer cultivation under the name Gotja. This moment was celebrated with Robert van Rijckevorsel in Breda, who tested the highly productive variety with resistance to the…

UK: Strawberry ‘Malling Centenary’ reaches annual sales of 60,000,000 plants

‘Malling Centenary’, a strawberry variety from the East Malling Breeding Club, based at NIAB EMR in the UK, has exceeded annual sales of 60 million plants. First introduced to the market in 2013, ‘Malling Centenary’ is in demand from growers and the major international retailers owing to its very high percentage of Class…

Brasiliaceae crops

Researchers identify the genes that make plants resistant to Albugo candida

An international team made up of researchers from eight universities -including the University of Córdoba (UCO) - and European research centers has identified the genes that…

Harris Moran-8849 chosen to be 2019 ‘rodeo tomato’

The high-yielding Harris Moran-8849 tomato has been selected as the official “rodeo tomato” for the 2019 San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, which runs from February 7 to 24. “Each year, a new tomato variety is selected by Texas A&M AgriLife to be the official tomato of the event,” said David Rodriguez, Texas A&M…

The power of DNA

Technology helps breeding move forward

Plant breeding has existed for centuries, but so much has changed in the last ten years. As a result of the intensified collaboration between breeders and laboratories, the possibilities are endless and the breeding process can be three to four generations shorter than in the past. Will the sweet pepper turn red…

US (TX): High-yielding Harris Moran-8849 chosen 2019 ‘rodeo tomato’

The high-yielding Harris Moran-8849 tomato has been selected as the official “rodeo tomato” for the 2019 San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, which runs from Feb. 7-24. The Harris Moran-8849 is a high-yielding plant with extra-large deep red fruit. The Harris Moran-8849 and Texas Superstar plants will be available…

"Rapid gene cloning technique will transform crop disease protection"

Researchers have pioneered a new method which allows them to rapidly recruit disease resistance genes from wild plants and transfer them into domestic crops. The technique called AgRenSeq or speed cloning has been developed by John Innes Centre researchers alongside colleagues in the United States and Australia to speed up the…

"Can Medium be your new High?"

New cocktail clusters shown on Fruit Logistica

TomaTech is to launch new tomato varieties in the upcoming Fruit Logistica exhibition.  “We identified that both growers and consumers are, amongst other things, constantly disappointed with the flavour and sweetness of the medium sized cocktail tomatoes that were available until today", Ofer Ben Zvi, VP Marketing…

Breeding crops with resistance to diseases and pests

'Breeding crops with resistance to diseases and pests' is the most up-to-date textbook on this topic targeted towards students in Plant Sciences. This book describes the most…

The growth of a classic crop: the sweet pepper

The cultivation and consumption of sweet peppers is increasing worldwide. Breeders are working hard to expand and improve the range of sweet peppers: from seedless varieties to snack peppers. Anyone who grew up during the 1970s will remember it well: the filled green sweet peppers that our mothers suddenly started serving…

Texas Superstar Festival Strawberry available for Valentine’s Day

Strawberry plants are an edible gardening gift that keeps on giving well beyond Valentine’s Day, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, San Antonio, said the new Texas Superstar selection – Festival Strawberry – provides some of…

"Patent on specific tomato variety withdrawn at our own request"

Syngenta recently decided to withdraw the patent the breeder had on a specific tomato variety. Not because the patent request was refused by the European Patent Office, but on…

UK: New varieties from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club

A new AHDB factsheet summarises the attributes of the main varieties released in the second tranche of the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club, which started in 2013, as well as details of some promising selections developed during this period. The East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club (EMSBC) was formed in 2008…

US (CA): Germains Seed Technology opens new Gilroy facilities

On January 22, 2019, Germains Seed Technology held a Grand Opening to celebrate the completion of their new organic automated processing facility and Research and Development Lab in Gilroy. Germains invested over $7 million in the construction of a new 37,500 sq ft certified organic facility. In addition to the new processing operations,…

Dwarf Tomato Project results in 24 seed releases

Gary Ibsen, founder of TomatoFest Heirloom Tomato Seeds, grower of more than 650 varieties of certified organic, heirloom tomatoes and co-founder of World Tomato Society, announces the release of rare tomato seeds for 24 “Dwarf Tomato” varieties. Ibsen said, “This is a marvelous opportunity for space-challenged gardeners: those who plant in…

Syngenta CEO targets seeds as top M&A priority

Erik Fyrwald, chief executive officer at Syngenta, discusses the benefits of the company’s purchase by ChemChina and their M&A priorities. He speaks at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on "Bloomberg Surveillance."   Source: Bloomberg

Using nuclear science in marker-assisted plant breeding

Imagine you must identify a glass of seawater among a hundred glasses of drinking water merely by looking at them. Almost impossible! But what if the glass with the seawater had a small red dot – a marker – on it? You would solve the riddle in no time. Finding this marker is exactly what new developments in science…

February 6, Brussels

Rest in peace plant breeding innovation in the EU after the ECJ ruling?

MEP Christopher Fjellner is organising an event entitled "Rest in Peace Plant Breeding Innovation in the EU after the ECJ Ruling?" on Wednesday, 6th of February 2019, from…

"To secure the future of food, look to the ancestors of eggplant"

In a greenhouse in tropical southern Taiwan grows a small tree. From its hardy trunk sprout stems with wide, fuzzy leaves and sprays of white star-like flowers. Some of these flowers have already transformed into inedible green fruits about the size of marbles. Mohamed Rakha, a plant breeder here at the…

Israel: New sweet basil hybrid resistant to downy mildew

Researchers at Bar-Ilan University, in cooperation with Genesis Seeds Ltd., have developed a hybrid of basil, the culinary herb, which is highly resistant to Downy Mildew, a devastating disease caused by a fungus-like pathogen. The new, patented product contains no pesticides and will provide much-needed…

Meet the real Doctor Pepper

Albert Ayeni is not a weak soul. Originally from Nigeria, the Rutgers assistant teaching professor has a passion for hot peppers that rivals the most enthusiastic capsaicin connoisseurs. Watch the latest episode of Scarlet Stories to learn how Albert is easing the homesickness of many New Jersey residents through his hot pepper…

Plant peptide helps roots to branch out in the right places

How do plants space out their roots? A Japanese research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing. The findings were published on December 20, 2018 in the online edition of Developmental Cell. The team was led by Professor Hidehiro Fukaki (Graduate School of…

The big five of genetically modified fruit

New varieties created through genetic editing and engineering promise to beat disease, offering enticing new flavours. Here are the big five. Tomatoes Brazilian scientists are hoping to create spicy tomatoes using Crispr gene-editing techniques. Although tomatoes contain the genes for capsaicinoids (the chemicals that…

Searching for the best genetics for new tomatoes

Thorough research is carried out before a new tomato variety can be introduced. We see that in this video from Ahern, supplier of vegetable seeds. Sales manager Enríque Peña says that a great deal of internal testing and research is carried out, for example in the area of the best genetics, but there are also demonstrations…

New ‘Florida Brilliance’ variety appealing to state’s strawberry industry

For years, University of Florida scientists looked for a few characteristics in a more desirable strawberry. Among those traits was a higher yield in November and December -- the early part of the Florida season when prices are highest. They also sought better fruit for the consumer. That meant a longer shelf life,…

"Patents on fruit and vegetables are a regulatory gap"

In June 2017, the European Patent Office (EPO) decided that no more patents would be granted on vegetables and fruit that originate from classical breeding techniques. However, the Technical Chamber of Appeal of the EPO concluded that this prohibition is in conflict with the European Patent Convention.…

US (FL): ‘Florida Brilliance’ shines on state’s strawberry industry

For years, University of Florida scientists looked for a few characteristics in a more desirable strawberry. Among those traits was a higher yield in November and December — the early part of the Florida season when prices are highest. They also sought better fruit for the consumer. That meant a longer shelf life,…

A tomato aroma could protect the crops against bacteria

Researchers from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Plant Biology of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC)…

US (NM): Chile expert receives lifetime achievement award

New Mexico State University Regents Professor of Horticulture, Distinguished Achievement Professor and Chile Pepper Institute Director Paul W. Bosland has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement award from the International Pepper Conference. Chile Pepper Institute Director Paul W. Bosland has been honored with the…

Advanced Berry Breeding introduces new raspberry variety, Sarafina

Once again Advanced Berry Breeding has brought out a new raspberry variety: Sarafina. This variety is seen as a nice addition to the previously introduced varieties Wengi, Shani and Rafiki. This is also confirmed by the extensive tests that have been carried out in Spain, Tanzania and Mexico and other…

Benson Hill Biosystems expands commercial team

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company dedicated to unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, announced the addition of several key industry executives to its commercial team in response to expanding growth opportunity. The company, which recently closed a $65 million Series C round…

Japan: NRGene and Toyota to develop strawberry varieties for local production

NRGene and Toyota announced the decoding of a leading commercial strawberry genome, a key milestone in the development of high-quality, locally-produced fruits for the Japanese market. The combination of NRGene’s assembly of the strawberry genome and Toyota’s GRAS-Di DNA analysis technology will enhance…

Researchers discover that tomatoes can produce capsaicin

"Tomatoes could become the new chili peppers"

Capsaicin is the substance that makes chili peppers spicy. It works by activating specific nerve cells in your tongue, which signal to the brain a pain caused by heat or spiciness. This is why even a tiny piece of chili pepper can set your mouth on fire. Biting into a tomato has never had the same…

Exploiting genetic and genomic resources to enhance heat-tolerance in tomatoes

High temperature is one of the most detrimental abiotic stresses in tomatoes. Many studies highlighted that even small increases in temperature can alter the plant reproductive system, causing a significant reduction in tomato yield. The aim of a new study was to exploit the phenotypic and genomic variations of a…

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition:

"New 'bioengineered' labeling rule will cause further confusion"

The new year may seem off to a sluggish start with the partial government shutdown stalling programs and delaying implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, but there is some new news out there. At the end of 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS)…

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Now, researchers from the University of…

Ginger from Franconia:

First successes in greenhouse ginger cultivation

It should help with a fever and a cold, but must also be tasty in a saucepan: ginger is a sought-after plant. So far, the tuber is cultivated in Asia and South America, but that will change. In Bamberg, ginger from Bavaria is being researched. Ginger can also thrive in Franconia. This is shown by…

Why hybrid is the ultimate way for your crops and business to grow

The future of crop protection is hybrid

For centuries, farmers have sought to shield their crops from weeds, pests, nematodes, and various diseases by using pesticides to protect and continue nourishing the food humans rely on to survive. However, in recent years, there has been an increasing amount of pressure around the effectiveness of…

Genetically modified 'shortcut' boosts plant growth by 40%

Doing numerous field trials, US researchers have engineered tobacco plants that can grow up to 40% larger than normal. The researchers say they have found a way of overcoming natural restrictions in the process of photosynthesis that limit crop productivity. They believe the method could be used to significantly boost yields…

"New downy mildew resistance could give organic lettuce growers more certainty"

For organic lettuce growers, it is essential to be certain of a good harvest. Rijk Zwaan offers them a choice of around 60 organic varieties with extensive resistances against diseases and pests, all of which respond well to organic fertilisers. A new, horizontal resistance to downy mildew could now…

India: Tomato gene involved in viral infection and heat stress identified

While trying to understand genetics of stress to make tomatoes and other crop plants more productive, Indian researchers have identified a gene that helps the tomato plant tackle pathogens as well as heat stress. Scientists at New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) have deciphered the critical…

Italy: "Choosing the right variety is crucial to the companies' succes"

The Cocktail Plum tomato variety represents a substantial segment of the table tomato production in Italy. Because of climate change – with rather sudden temperature oscillations – and plant diseases, it is becoming increasingly urgent to farm varieties better suited for modern horticulture. Rocco, Lino and Salvatore…

Our daily newsletter will be back January 2nd

Happy Holidays!

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but it's that time of the year again. We'll be taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays. 

We would like to thank you for all of your continuous support and feedback over the last year. 

And of course, on behalf of our entire editorial staff, we would like to offer you our season's greetings! 

Arlette, Annet, Eelkje, Eddy, Elita, Geert, Jan-Jacob, Jobke, Michael & Priscilla.

Get a whole plant genome sequenced & assembled for free

On Thursday March 21, 2019 KeyGene organizes a meetup on the perspectives of genome insights for innovation in plant breeding and plant sciences. The focus of this meetup is on the promises of long read sequencing, using Oxford Nanopore Technology platforms for plant breeding and research. Researchers…

INnovations in plant Variety Testing in Europe project gets Horizon 2020 funding

On 11 December 2018 the European Commission communicated its decision to grant funds in relation to the call SFS-29-2018 “Innovations in plant variety testing” of the Horizon…

US (GA): Scientists aim to breed better tomatoes one bite at a time

Tomatoes have been bred to create a wide array of colors, shapes and sizes, but not much commercial work has been done on breeding tomatoes that taste good. That may be because — despite the public’s love of tomatoes — there’s been no commercial demand for a better-tasting fruit and because breeding for taste is…

More than just passport data now available on Genesys

Genesys, the global online portal to information about plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) in genebanks, has been significantly enhanced with the introduction of the Genesys Catalog for Phenotypic Datasets. “Genesys has been publishing basic information about germplasm samples like source, origin…

CIOPORA

"Exciting twist in the European handling of plant patentability"

In a recent decision regarding a pepper plant application, the EPO Board of Appeal held that Rule 28 (2) EPC was in conflict with Article 53 (b) of the European Patent…

Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa and Cogeca:

"Patent law is an inappropriate instrument for the EU agricultural sector"

On December 5th, in an oral hearing on a patent covering pepper plants, the European Patent Office (EPO) declared Rule 28(2) to be invalid. This rule clarified that all…

Testing and developing the tomato flavour model

The flavour model of Wageningen University & Research is a reliable tool to determine flavour levels of new tomato varieties. Regularly testing the tomato flavour model The flavour model of Wageningen University & Research is a reliable tool to determine flavour levels of new tomato varieties. It facilitates B2B…

Graham Norton, founder of Abundant Produce:

"We offer Australia’s growers something they haven’t been receiving from overseas suppliers"

"We don’t just sell seeds. We grow plants suited to Australia’s unique conditions then we follow up with comprehensive grower support." Speaking is Graham Brown , founder of Abundant Produce. The Australian company breeds varieties specifically for the Australian market and conditions. Over the coming…

‘The future for Egyptian berries is not all about strawberries’

Egyptian strawberry production is estimated to come to some 1 million tonnes. The production is divided into a mixture of top-quality export grade (predominantly to Europe and…

Syngenta Cucumber day event

Turkey: "The future of cucumber looks bright"

On November 27th, Syngenta opened the doors of its research station in Antalya for the Cucumber Day to welcome customers from the whole region. The aim of the initiative was to show the wide cucumber portfolio and the entire range from short to baby, not forgetting long Dutch varieties.  The experts and breeders presented solutions and the…

Measuring the taste of a tomato with an iPhone

Measure the taste without tasting. For tomatoes this has been possible for decades with the taste model developed by Wageningen University & Research. This model makes judging the taste much easier than with a panel, but it is still fairly cumbersome. For a current taste measurement with the model, a…

Garlich von Essen, European Seed Association:

"The basics of plant breeding must remain free for further use by all breeders"

On December 5, 2018, in an oral hearing on a patent on pepper plants, the European Patent Office declared the new rule 28(2) invalid, paving the way again for patents being granted on plants obtained by essentially biological processes. The new Rule 28(2) was adopted by the Administrative Council of the EPO in…

China: Advanced digital phenotyping system for Nanjing Agricultural University

PhenoKey just completed the turnkey delivery of an advanced digital phenotyping system for Nanjing Agricultural University in China. This 600 pots system with advanced RGB and Kinetic Chlorophyll Fluorescence/ Multi spectral imaging units, is installed inside a greenhouse situated prominently at the…

UK: How breeding an outdoor tomato led to a tomato fight

As recently as the 1930s, there were no outdoor tomato varieties available in the UK. Tomatoes had to be grown indoors, in a greenhouse, conservatory or handy window sill. In Merton, scientists at the John Innes Horticultural Institution, as it was known then, were working hard to breed hardy tomatoes that could be…

Bayer chooses GenoMAGIC platform to support advanced molecular breeding program

NRGene announced a key milestone in its multi-year licensing agreement with Bayer for the use of GenoMAGIC, a cloud-based big data analytics platform to support the company’s molecular breeding program within its Crop Science Division. Bayer has completed a one-year evaluation of GenoMAGIC and has tested its usability…

Limgroup presents breeding program's first strawberry variety at ExpoSE 2018

Will the Limalexia replace the Elsanta?

After more than ten years of extensive testing and numerous market studies, the Limgroup's strawberry breeding program is bearing its first fruit. The very first variety of this strawberry produced in the Dutch province of Limburg was officially presented under the name, Limalexia. This presentation was…

HM.Clause India holds first open day in Hyderabad region

On 21 November 2018, HM.Clause India held its first ever open day at one of its ten local experimental stations in India, near Hyderabad. Nearly 200 customers from all over India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka came to discover nearly 90 varieties of more than 20 different vegetable species. The visit of the area was…


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