Current Research Projects

Objectives & approach

The BreedingValue project drives sustainable and competitive berry production across Europe addressing the need for new cultivation systems as well as high-quality produce due to current challenges posed by climate change and environmental preservation.

  1. This will be achieved through:
  2. Designing innovative breeding strategies providing berry producers with commercial cultivars ensuring resilience, without sacrificing fruit quality, across a broad range of geographic conditions.
  3. Exploring berry germplasm with a particular focus on contemporary challenges in breeding, in order to assure genetic diversity and berry industry success across Europe.
  4. Improving characterisation and selection efficiency among berry germplasm by providing new modern genotyping and phenotyping tools for identifying, sharing and disseminating results on factors controlling resilience, stress tolerance, yield stability and fruit quality.
  5. Specifying and communicating sensorial quality factors and consumer quality preferences for different berry species in different parts of Europe.
  6. Identifying and introducing superior germplasm for European berry breeding programmes, as a valuable source to develop cultivars ensuring high-quality yield by sustainable production methods under different climatic environments.
  7. Developing concepts and user-friendly tools for documentation, communication and visualisation of berry germplasm at European level and even beyond, which will reduce conservation risks and improve the utilisation of berry GenRes in breeding programmes.
  8. Consolidating networking on berry GenRes - breeding interface in Europe and provide participation, training and outreach to GenRes conservers, breeders, nurseries, growers, consumers and citizens.
  9. Improving the capacity of the EU berry industry in order to maintain high competitiveness at national and international level.

Work packages

WP1: GenRes management, definition and selection of proper plant material, field trials and phenotyping
Lead: Hansabred GmbH & Co. KG [HANSABRED]

The general objective of WP1 is to identify, select, assess and evaluate in field trials berry genetic resources from collections and breeding programs. Field trials will be used for genotyping, phenotyping and consumer science studies for the development and identification of the new advanced breeding materials and tools for strawberry, raspberry and blueberry breeding programs aimed to release new resilient cultivars with high fruit quality and sustainability. For these activities, GenRes collections and even breeding lines and progenies originated from intra- and inter-specific crosses will be used and identified and valorised for breeding programs.

WP2: Genomic tools for enhancing utilization of genetic resources in pre-breeding
Lead: Norsk Institutt For Biookonomi [NIBIO]

The objective of WP2 is to improve berry breeding efficiency by making genomic tools and markers available to the EU breeder and pre-breeder community, and thereby facilitating the detection of valuable characteristics among berry germplasm.

WP3: Exploring diverse germplasm collections for plant resilience, fruit quality and postharvest traits
Lead: Universidad de Málaga [UMA]

WP3 aims at exploring the phenotypic diversity (genotype x environmental (GxE)), according to plant performance, fruit quality and postharvest traits of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry to better material characterization that can achieve significant improvements in breeding.

WP4: Fruit quality attributes for European berry GenRes emphasized by consumer responses
Lead: Luonnonvarakeskus [LUKE]

The WP will make an up-to-date scenario of desires and aspirations of consumers and supply chain, as related to quality of berries. The standard methodology of quality evaluation of berry germplasm will be improved to provide effective tools for defining sensory properties. The WP will specify critical sensory factors and produce tools and sensory profiles to characterize fresh berry quality, even acknowledging differences across different European regions.

WP5: Data Analysis and Visualization
Lead: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmBH [FZJ]

WP5 will be dedicated to the establishment of a computational foundation for providing data integration and harmonization, infrastructures, analytical approaches and integration.

WP6: Innovation management and dissemination activities
Lead: Eurice European Research and Project Office GmbH [EURICE]

In close interaction with the scientific WPs1-5, WP6 will ensure consistent dissemination and communication, safeguarding optimal visibility and a wide outreach to all relevant stakeholders, as well as strategic planning and operational support of project exploitation through dedicated innovation management. Innovation management is supported by proper project management (WP7) to ensure that high-quality results are created, captured, assessed and used.

WP7: Project management and scientific coordination
Lead: Università Politecnica delle Marche [UPM]

WP7 will provide a clear organizational framework and all necessary support mechanisms to enable a smooth project workflow in BreedingValue and to ensure that all contractual commitments will be met in time. Particular attention will be paid to the close integration of the less experienced partners.