About

Key facts

Start date

1 January 2021

Duration

48 Months

Budget

6.98 Mio €

20 Partners

8 Countries

Background

Berry production is widely established throughout Europe. Especially strawberry, but also raspberry and blueberry play a significant role in the EU market. Highly nutritious, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, they play a vital part of a healthy diet and are included in current dietary recommendations on the intake of fruits and vegetables. Growing these berries requires highly specialised knowledge and is, using the current cultivation systems, highly resource intensive. Current berry cultivars have a limited environmental tolerance which is determined by the plant’s germplasm and reduces resilience to different environmental factors. At the same time, fruit quality, both in terms of nutrition and appearance, determines the success in the market by meeting consumers’ expectations. Failures on quality carries the risk of reduced profitability and sustainability for individual farmers but also the market as a whole due to high wastage.

The BreedingValue project brings together public and private actors, internationally renowned scientists, GenRes managers and SMEs, with substantial experience in managing and characterising berry GenRes as well as berry consumers across Europe for the use and development of germplasm and new genetic and phenotyping tools. This allows for studying the current biodiversity of these crops by applying advanced genotyping and phenotyping tools, and identifying new pre-breeding materials to be used for the creation of new resilient cultivars with high quality fruit. In addition, BreedingValue intends to expand communication in the GenRes-breeding-consumer chain, both nationally and EU-wide, for the present and future benefit of berry breeders, nurseries, growers and consumers.

In order to create a strong connection between public and private institutions, berry breeders are invited to participate in Open Calls for proposals to collaborate on specific project activities, such as Marker-Assisted Selection, Genomic selection, Genome wide association studies and the development of methodological tool kits for sensorial quality assessment of berry genetic resources.