Research Interests

Below is a list of current projects and research interests for the Genetics & Crop Improvement Programme.


Identifying apple and other fruit varieties for the amateur gardener

Each year, as summer fades to autumn, enthusiastic gardeners often contact East Malling Research (EMR) with samples of apples, keen to know what variety they have growing in their garden. Perhaps they have moved house and ‘inherited’ a new tree … Continue reading

ARDERI – Apple Replant Disease Evolution and Rootstock Interaction

This page is currently under construction – further content coming soon. The UK’s apple producing and processing industry is currently growing due to a huge increase in cider consumption worth £3000M per year. Apples are the most important tree fruit … Continue reading

The Harrison Lab

Research in The Harrison Lab at EMR focuses on genetically complex crops such as strawberry, apple and broadleaf tree species and is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling resistance to a range of plant pathogens. The group also seeks to understand the evolutionary … Continue reading

Sino-UK Strawberry Innovation R&D Centre

In March 2012, EMR signed an agreement with the Beijing Academy of Agriculture Forestry Sciences (BAAFS) to establish a joint research office on strawberry breeding and genetics.  The agreement was initially for three years but was extended for a further … Continue reading

EMR Apple Breeding Consortium

Overview A new EMR Apple Breeding Consortium, comprising of East Malling Services, Worldwide Fruit Ltd and ENZA, have initiated a new dessert apple breeding programme, based at East Malling, UK. Underpinned by pre-breeding expertise from the Harrison lab at EMR the programme … Continue reading

Resistance to powdery mildew in cultivated strawberry

EMR, Driscoll’s Genetics Ltd and Berry Gardens growers are working in an industry-led project to identify and characterise the genetic basis of strawberry powdery mildew resistance in the octoploid cultivated strawberry. Members of the Harrison lab and the strawberry breeding … Continue reading

Novel Food Crops

In recent years, UK fruit growers have made significant changes in their businesses in response to changes in government policy, increased competition from imports and increased costs driven by factors such as availability and cost of labour, availability of resources … Continue reading

East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club

The national programme for strawberry breeding has been based at East Malling since 1983.  The programme has been successful in releasing 39 varieties for all sectors of the strawberry industry since 1988, with over 250 million plants of these varieties … Continue reading

East Malling Rootstock Club

Top-fruit growers worldwide require improved rootstocks to maintain profitable and sustainable production.  Important factors for growers are dwarfing to reduce the cost of pruning and simplify picking, induction of precocious and reliable cropping, ease of propagation, freedom from suckers, good … Continue reading