Department of Plant Breeding
We are conducting strategic and applied research and development work in genetics and plant breeding with a particular focus on fruits and berries. The activities also include the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources.
We specially focus plant genetic research aimed at domestication, pre-breeding and plant breeding of fruit and berries for sustainable farming systems, including organic farming. We have ongoing breeding programs on apple, black currants and sea buckthorn. Traits that we prioritize are, for example, fruit quality, disease resistance and storage durability. We also develop new varieties with high amounts of bioactive compounds. The research also includes analysis of genetic variation, DNA markers for resistance and quality traits, identification of plant material with genetic markers and gene bank optimization assays, as well as production-oriented research on fruit and berries. Thus we perform comparative field trials with selections and new cultivars of several fruit- and berry species for growing in Sweden. Recently we have started an apple breeding program also for juice- and cider cultivars.
In addition, we develop our extensive plant collection with fruits and berries. It is a prerequisite for both short-term and long-term research and development projects. The plant material is a unique resource for valuable traits, and includes traditional horticultural crops such as eg apple, pear, plum, cherry, currant and gosseberry, as well as new fruit and berry crops, for example sea buckthorn and Japanese quince.