Investigating crop strategies to achieve more nutritious berries

Researchers from the Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Hortofruticulture (IHSM) La Mayora CSIC-UMA participate in a European project to obtain more nutritious and resistant strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

The IHSM researcher, based in Algarrobo (Málaga), Sonia Osorio, leads one of the work packages of this project, whose objective is to develop new strategies in the improvement of the berry fruit in terms of the best adaptation to environmental changes and fruit quality, as reported by this center in a statement.

The project, called "BreedingValue", is endowed with 7 million euros, and lasts for four years.

In recent years there has been an increase in consumer demand for berry fruits in Europe, but crop production is affected both by environmental changes associated with climate change and by the preservation of the environment.

Berry crops have a limited tolerance to contamination, which is a determining factor in the plasticity of the plant to different environmental factors, and this also affects the quality of the fruit, a factor that determines its success or not in the market before the consumer.

BreedingValue has the European collaboration of twenty partners from eight different countries, a multidisciplinary initiative that highlights the different collections of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry «GenRes» germplasm available at European level ».

The work of this project is coordinated in the next four years by the Università Politecnica Delle Marche in Ancona (Italy).

The working group led by Sonia Osorio is going to apply new phenotyping tools both at the plant and fruit level that allow the development of prediction models in terms of better adaptation of the plant to changes in the environment, as well as better fruit quality.

BreedingValue has the participation of groups of researchers from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. EFE

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