Crop breeding and Genetics

The current crop breeding and genetics theme staff are principally focussed on commercial breeding programmes of Rosaceous (strawberry, raspberry, cherry, apple and pear) with research projects aligned to underpin these programmes and address and understand the inheritance of key commercial traits and mechanisms. The expansion of current breeding programmes to include blackberry, blueberrry and lonicera is underway, expanding the range of expertise offered by NIAB EMR.

Key areas of research:

  • Flagship molecular-assisted breeding programmes in horticultural crops
  • Speed breeding
  • Genomic selection

A UK-China partnership to understand the genetic architecture of the Colletotrichum gloeosporoides – Fragaria x ananassa interaction

China is the foremost producer of strawberries globally, accounting for over 38% of total production. 2,000,000 mu (330 thousand acres) of land is devoted to strawberry production in China, with an estimated value of twenty billion RMB (£2.2 billion) per … Continue Reading

Developing resource-use efficient strawberries for substrate production

The aim of the project is to improve the sustainability and efficiency of UK strawberry production by using innovative technologies to develop improved cultivars and systems for soil-less culture. Strawberries account for around 60% of total berry production. The strawberry … Continue Reading

Root architecture and root function to improve quality of apples.

Project description: Rootstocks are an essential component for successful tree fruit production, yet the below ground root systems are little understood. This project will aim to identify the genetic basis of root system architecture in apple rootstocks and to associate … 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

DNA fingerprinting

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

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

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

Sino-Strawberry Innovation 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

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