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Kimmo Rumpunen

Kimmo Rumpunen
I am a researcher and plant breeder at the Department of Plant Breeding, responsible for breeding of apples, black currants and sea buckthorn. I have a great interest in plant domestication and healthy food innovation from plants to finished products, especially with a focus on drinks of all kinds. I often collaborate with companies.


I have been employed at SLU since 1991 and work with applied research focusing 1) domestication and evaluation of fruit and berry plants, 2) health promoting substances, especially phenols and 3) resistance and quality breeding.

As a plant breeder I have developed several new cultivars of fruit and berry plants and also ornamental plants such as clematis for cultivation in the Swedish climate. Examples of cultivars are the black currant PETTER, the blueberries OLLE and PELLE, the rhubarb BARBRO and BERIT, the sea buckthorn LOTTA, SVENNE, SOL, IDUN, TORUN, FENJA and EIR and the Japanese quince DARIUS and RONDO. The clematis cultivars that I have developed are KAJSA, SUNNA, BALSGARD LINNEA, TUVA, and TINDRA

Since 2018 I am responsible for breeding new cultivars of apples, both dessert, juice and cider apples for cultivation in Sweden.


I participate in teaching horticultural subjects as well as horticultural innovation and product development. 


In my research I have specifically investigated the occurrence and variation in the content of different phenols in horticultural plant material. Phenols are potentially health promoting substances that occur throughout the plant but especially in roots, bark, leaves and fruit peel. The content of these substances can vary greatly depending on the cultivar and environmental factors. Through plant breeding, it is possible to influence the content of phenols and thereby develop specific cultivars for different uses.


I am presently (2019) deputy supervisor for:

1) PhD student Stina Burri (Studies of plant materials that counteract lipid oxidation in meat products)

2) PhD student Jonas Skytte af Sätra (Accelerated and cost-effective cultivar development of apple through genome-based plant breeding)

I was deputy supervisor for Åsa Johansson who obtained her PhD in 2007 (on apples), Staffan Andersson  2009 (on sea buckthorn and rose hips), Andreas Åkerström 2010 (on bilberries), Muhammad Zubair  2012 (on plantain), Michael Rajeev Vagiri 2014 (on black currants) and Masoud Ahmadi Afzadi 2016 (on apples).

Selected publications

I have published approx 150 publications and my present H-index is 16 (2019). Recent publications are:

Burri S et al. (2019). Lipid oxidation inhibition capacity of 11 plant materials and extracts evaluated in highly oxidised cooked meatballs. Foods, 8 (406) 14 sidor. DOI:10.3390/foods8090406

Spoor T et al. (2019). Chemical contents and blue mould susceptibility in Swedish-grown cider apple cultivars. European Journal of Horticultural Science, 84(3), ss 131-141. DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2019/84.3.3

Muzila  M  et al. (2018).  Harpagophytum germplasm varies in tuber peel and pulp content of important phenylpropanoids and iridoids. South African Journal of Botany, 115  ss.153-160. DOI:10.1016/j.sajb.2018.02.388

Rumpunen  K  et al. (2017).  Swedish apple cultivars vary in traits for juice and cider making  Proceedings of the XIV EUCARPIA Symposium on Fruit Breeding and Genetics : Bologna, Italy, June 14-18, 2015  (1172) ss. 255-258. DOI:10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1172.48

Nybom  H  et al. (2017).  Cideräpplen i Sverige.   Alnarp: Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet. Landskapsarkitektur trädgård växtproduktionsvetenskap. Rapportserie,  (2017:17).

Rosander  U  et al. (2017).  Methodological considerations in a pilot study on the effects of a berry enriched smoothie on children's performance in school. Food and Nutrition Research, 61  DOI:10.1080/16546628.2017.1409063

Vagiri  M  et al. (2017).  Phenolic compounds in black currant leaves - an interaction between the plant and foliar diseases?  Journal of Plant Interactions, 12 (1),  ss.193-199. DOI:10.1080/17429145.2017.1316524

Burri  S  et al. (2017).  Antioxidant capacity and major phenol compounds of horticultural plant materials not usually used.  Journal of Functional Foods, 38 (Part A),  ss.119-127. DOI:10.1016/j.jff.2017.09.003



Researcher at the Department of Plant Breeding
Telephone: +4644265833, +46709576868
Postal address:
Växtförädling, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 10, Alnarp