Pioneering new technology is set to accelerate the global quest for crop improvement in a development which echoes the Green Revolution of the post war period.
A Blueberry Breeding Consortium including members from three European countries held its inaugural meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee yesterday.
The new consortium will fund a blueberry breeding programme which will deliver new and improved blueberry varieties, suited to European growing conditions and carrying traits desirable to growers, retailers and consumers. It has been set up and is managed by the Institute’s commercial subsidiary company, James Hutton Limited.
Crop breeders in developing countries can now access free tools to accelerate the breeding of improved crop varieties, thanks to a collaboration between the GOBII project at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Cornell University (USA), and the James Hutton Institute (JHI) in Scotland.
The collaboration works with breeding centers around the world to identify unmet needs and has developed tools to make the process of adding a trait into an existing, high-yield crop variety more efficient. Researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are using the tools to develop corn varieties with greater resistance to viruses.
An industry consortium, led by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd and NIAB EMR, has won a BBSRC collaborative training partnership (CTP) award to provide a £1.9 million postgraduate programme for scientific research on fruit crops.