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Genetic improvement of strawberry for sustainable production in the UK - HH3201SSF

The overall objective of the project is to provide essential underpinning research that will feed directly into two commercially funded variety development programmes, which are supplying improved, high quality strawberry varieties to UK growers. The focus will be on improving our understanding of the genetics of important traits, developing effective and efficient breeding strategies and producing breeding lines for use as parents in crossing programmes. The targets are: to improve resistance to Colletotrichum acutatum; to develop a clone of ‘Florence’ with improved fruit colour; to develop an effective procedure for selecting genotypes adapted to programmed cropping; to develop a strategy to exploit germplasm with extended dormancy (developed in HH1013SSF); to increase harvesting speed in everbearing strawberries by modifying inflorescence structure and increasing the percentage of class 1 fruit. This project is relevant to the DEFRA policy objective of improving the sustainability of UK strawberry production. In particular, the goals are directed towards sustainable disease control and sustainable use of labour.
1. To develop a strategy and identify germplasm for improving resistance to black spot (Colletotrichum acutatum).
2. To develop a protocol for producing a population of somaclones of ‘Florence’ from which superior clones with improved fruit colour can be identified.
3. To develop an effective selection procedure for identifying genotypes with potential for use in programmed cropping systems.
4. To exploit germplasm with extended dormancy by developing breeding lines that combine the trait with improved fruit quality.
5. To improve harvesting speed in everbearers by developing breeding lines with (i) fewer flowers per inflorescence and (ii) improved tolerance to late season pests.
6. To transfer the knowledge and germplasm generated in objectives 1 to 5 to the industry funded variety development programmes and the strawberry R&D community.
7. Develop effective ways of manipulating light quantity and quality to influence plant development, yield and fruit quality.
8. To test the effectiveness of SSCP in genomic analysis of Fragaria vesca.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2007

Cost: £1,103,805
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, East Malling Research
Allocated - EMR              
Peer Review              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study