Joining forces for berry GenRes
The BreedingValue project brings together key players from several levels of berry GenRes and breeding activities – from research, breeding and selection to value identification. The project enhances methodologies for GenRes and breeding material management, conservation, characterisation and evaluation. It increases the knowledge of berry GenRes value on the European level and even beyond, by developing advanced phenotyping and genotyping platforms, and promoting their use in creating a link between the European regional collections and public and profit institutions involved in strawberry, raspberry and blueberry. Providing standardised research data on phenotypic and genotypic characterisation through a user-friendly database improves the quality and usability of GenRes breeding material, leads to quality improvements of collections and promotes their utilisation in breeding programs. The development of the technologies, access to a fundamental knowledge base, and exploitable advances made by the consortium improve the competitiveness and sustainability of European berry industry in the long run.
Development and utilisation of cutting-edge tools and technologies
Within the project, cutting-edge tools and technologies for genotyping, phenotyping and metabolomics are developed and utilized to capture and characterise genetic diversity in GenRes and its value revealing novel information to breeders, growers, and consumers.
Generation and identification of new genetic material and markers
The BreedingValue project identifies and generates new genetic material and markers to be transferred into breeding programs and farming. Multi-local experimentations in different environments will help to identify valuable components of GenRes and traits associated with resilience, adaptability, yield and fruit quality, with particular attention to the consumer demand and environmental sustainability. New molecular tools will be of high value for the future public and private breeding programs specifically addressed to the achievement of new berry cultivars with increased plant environmental resilience, elevated levels of nutrition, desirable flavour and high postharvest quality. Identification of useful traits in accessions promotes the use of the GenRes collections. The material with stress resistance and fruit quality attributes revealed in this study will be available to use by breeders European-wide.
Proper Description of GenRes
Proper Description of the maintained GenRes material by collecting phenotypic data, by resistance evaluation, fruit analysis, and by molecular description shows the potential to develop resilient cultivars with high fruit quality and consumer acceptance.
Consumer assisted selection
BreedingValue helps to establish “consumer assisted selection” by employing analytical based comparative consumer acceptance studies. The project features the first comparative study about consumer preferences of berries throughout Europe. Thereby, information of differences in appreciation of berry sensorial traits due to different regions of Europe will be studied.
GenRes database on berries
Different informatic tools are to communicate information related to GenRes and derived pre-breeding characteristics and potential use. For the first time, diverse data on GenRes genotypes, markers, phenotypes etc. is harmonized, corrected and brought in a database (Germinate). This will greatly enhance breeding efforts and/or even enable some efforts hitherto not possible by allowing to tap into “ready to use” and high-quality data in one place through a user-friendly interface. This is especially important for SMEs and even start-ups that want to seriously compete in berry breeding, but that can’t rely on integrated public or private efforts seen for major crops.