Breeding

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…

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…

Space-inspired speed breeding for crop improvement

Technology first used by NASA to grow plants extra-terrestrially is fast tracking improvements in a range of crops. Scientists at the John Innes Centre, Earlham Institute, and Quadram Institute in Norwich, UK, and the University of Queensland have improved the technique, known as speed breeding, adapting it to…

Visit by Minister for Agricultural Industry Development, Mark Furner

Australia: Applethorpe research facility bears fruit for farmers

Researchers at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Applethorpe Research Facility are trying to help Queensland farmers to produce more attractive, flavoursome…

Spain: Plants with greater resistance to drought and no impact on growth

Researchers led by Ana Caño-Delgado, scientist of the Center for Research in Agrigenomics (CRAG), have managed to develop plants with a greater resistant to drought by…

Researchers discover novel “to divide or to differentiate” switch in plants

Scientists from VIB and Ghent University under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jenny Russinova uncovered a novel mechanism in plants that controls an important decision step in stomatal lineage to divide asymmetrically or to differentiate. This is a decisive step for the formation of stomata, tiny pores on the…

Bulgaria: Hybrid tomato varieties are becoming more important for small to medium growers

Geosemselect Ltd is a Bulgarian breeding and seed production company founded in 1990 by prof. Christo Georgiev and has been the biggest hybrid tomato seed producer since then…

Ard Ammerlaan, Prudac

Nature, health and fun come together in potted vegetable market

"If you want to show your customers what they can have in their stores in the spring, you have to bring them here now." Ard Ammerlaan, Prudac, rents a test greenhouse in the Demokwekerij on the Zwethlaan in the Westland, and is now conducting year round tests with potted tomatoes and potted bell peppers.…

University of Georgia

US researchers discover genes that define a vegetable’s shape

From time immemorial, vegetables have come in almost every size and shape. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have found the genetic mechanism that controls the shape of our favourite fruits, vegetables and grains. In article published Nov. 10 in…

Researchers in Costa Rica create a tomato that is resistant to yellow leaf curl virus

A modification in the DNA of the original culture resulted in a new variety of super-tomato that is resistant to the harmful tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), which…

Netherlands: New cucumbers breeding center "Not just another greenhouse"

Thursday November 8th is a day to remember for the Nunhems crew - or at least for the accounting department of BASF, of which the company is a part since this year. Never before in the hundred-year history of the breeding company have they invested as much money as this time, realizing the new global…

planting of summer crops

"Australian growers worried about extended periods of high temperatures"

In 2018, Australian cucumber growers faced a challenging winter, dealing with extended cold periods, often with ice coating their greenhouses and losses of up to 40% of their crops due to cold strike (fruit scurfing). "Now they are planting summer crops and, with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology…

Enabling tools for breeding plants for high yield with less fertilizer

Gene network lets plant roots handle nitrogen

With robotics, computers and advanced genetics, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have established a core set of genes that help plants metabolize nitrogen, the key to plant growth and crop yield. They published their findings Oct. 24 in the journal…

US (IN): Inari introduces world's first Seed Foundry

Inari introduces the world's first Seed Foundry as part of the company's mission to reintroduce genetic diversity, revolutionize the seed industry and create a winning food…

South Korean breeder takes seed treatment and processing in own hands

The Kiban is a South Korean breeder that was founded in 2015 and is part of parent company Noroor Group, a large chemical company from South Korea. The main crops of the breeder are tomato, melon, bell pepper, cabbage, radish and Chinese cabbage. The company owns 17 hectares of land consisting mainly of…

"Reduction of packaging already a focus in breeding"

During the Fruit Attraction in Madrid the brands De Ruiter and Seminis made their debut under the Bayer flag. For the domestic Spanish market and for export to North West Europe, the breeder has introduced Zyrconita, a loose cherry tomato with a high production, a good post harvest and a calibre that is…

Bulgarian hybrid tomato breeder looking to expand internationally

Geosemselect is a Bulgarian breeding and seed production company founded in 1990 by prof. Christo Georgiev and has been the biggest hybrid tomato seed producer since then in Bulgaria. There are two specific cases, showing how the company’s varieties become an essential part of the seed market in…

Winter generative cucumber produces more fruit at the correct length

Winmar RZ is a Long English variety and quickly gaining traction with its consistent length and fruit quality. Winmar RZ is a winter generative type that keeps a balance between vegetative growth and fruit setting. The result is a steady fruit load, which allows uniform fruit length. The fruits have…

KeyGene SNPSelect

Selection technology broadens possibilities in plant breeding

KeyGene scientists have recently published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, detailing a flexible and scalable technology named SNPSelect for faster and more effective plant…

How Israel left its mark on tomato cultivation

Tomatoes didn’t originate in Israel, but the country's agricultural wizards transformed this wild fruit into a flavorful, long-lasting, nutritious, disease-resistant commercial crop enjoyed everywhere as a fresh ingredient and as a source of healthful extracts. “Regarding tomatoes, Israel is a powerhouse in breeding…

Young plants in the spotlight

In recent years Bejo have organised many symposia during the Open Days, and up until now a crop has always been the central focus. This year however Bejo decided that the plant raiser, an important player in the sector, should be in the spotlight. Since many different crops start life with a plant raiser, this was a good…

Development of eggplant varieties in the Philippines

Eggplant is considered to be the top vegetable crop of the Philippines. It is also the 16th most highly-consumed Filipino crop. However, statistics showed that there is a low profit to…

KeyGene India inaugurated

India: New breeding technologies in agriculture

KeyGene recently opened its representative office in Hyderabad, India. To mark the opening of its facility, KeyGene organized a mini symposium on “The Impact of New Breeding Technologies in Agriculture” in Hyderabad on 3rd September 2018. The function was inaugurated by the chief guest, Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principle Secretary…

European scientists unite to safeguard precision breeding for sustainable agriculture

Leading scientists representing more than 85 European plant and life sciences research centers and institutes have endorsed a position paper that urgently calls upon European policy makers to safeguard innovation in plant science and agriculture. The scientists are deeply concerned about a recent…

Colorful novelties in Canadian demo greenhouse Yüksel

There is never a dull moment in the world of tomatoes. Breeders constantly come up with new varieties, which growers like to produce to stand out among the competition. One of those breeders is Yüksel, known for their special tomatoes in various colors and shapes. This Turkish company recently opened a…

BASF licenses CRISPR-Cpf1 genome editing technology

BASF has attained a global, non-exclusive licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the use of CRISPR-Cpf1 genome editing technology to improve products in agricultural and industrial microbiology applications. CRISPR-Cpf1 has demonstrated distinct advantages for certain applications over CRISPR-Cas9, which BASF has…

Philippines: Eggplant varieties with increased resistance under development

A project funded and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) will develop improved eggplant varieties with increased resistance against insect pests, specifically eggplant fruit…

"Exploring natural resistance in vegetable crops never stops"

The most sustainable way to prevent diseases and pests in vegetable cultivation is to develop varieties that are resistant. Developing a new variety used to take more than twenty years, but thanks to new technologies, such as tissue culture, marker technology and bioinformatics, we can reduce that period…

Breeders and chefs collaborate on the produce of the future

New York’s first Variety Showcase, held last week near Union Square, was like an Apple event for people who geek out over actual fruit. Instead of unveiling new iPhones, the goal of this Showcase — which was produced by the Oregon-based Culinary Breeding Network group and GrowNYC — was to help connect…

Breeder focuses on nutritional value

First pepper launch for Axia Vegetable Seeds

You might know breeding company Axia Vegetable Seeds best from their extensive range of tomato products. Get ready for something new then, if you are visiting the Fruit Attraction in Madrid this week. The company will launch sweet pointed pepper ETNA Healthy during the exhibition. "As the name says,…

Licensing for Europe, Mediterranean and South America

UC Davis selects Global Plant Genetics for strawberry licensing

The University of California has entered into a master agreement with Global Plant Genetics, Ltd., based in Norfolk, England, for the sublicensing of new strawberry varieties in selected countries within Europe, the Mediterranean and South America. The agreement governs the commercialization of new…

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…


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