Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Breeding Better British Strawberries

Published: Monday, July 08, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 08, 2013
Bookmark and Share
BBSRC awards nearly £800,000 to fund research into disease resistance in strawberries.

As Wimbledon reaches its peak this weekend, British scientists are preparing to battle to ensure the tournament classic of strawberries and cream stays on the menu for years to come with a £2M project to research strawberry disease.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will fund nearly £800,000 of the five-year project into protecting strawberries from diseases.

The two grant awards from BBSRC, to East Malling Research and the The Sainsbury Laboratory, come under the Improving Disease Resistance In Strawberry (IDRIS) programme, run by East Malling Research.

East Malling Research and The Sainsbury Laboratory will additionally contribute £200,000 and this figure will be matched by an industry consortium including Berry Gardens Ltd, CPM (Retail) Ltd, The Horticultural Development Company, Mack Multiples and Meiosis Ltd, to bring the total project fund to £1,992,000.

Researchers at both institutions will build on previous work to seek genetic 'markers' within the DNA of strawberry that denote genes associated with resistance to soil-borne strawberry diseases.
Using existing knowledge about the genes that strawberry diseases employ to infect plants, they will determine markers for the 'best' resistance genes in strawberry, in a process called 'effector informed breeding'.

The resulting 'map' of where these markers are in the strawberry genome will allow breeding programmes to more effectively select for resistance to diseases such as crown rot and red core, caused by Phytophthora cactorum and Phytophthora fragariae respectively, increasing the resilience of strawberries grown in the UK.

The hope is that this research will help breed strawberry plants with a stronger resistance to soil-borne disease. Such strawberries would not have to be replanted every eight-to-15 months as at present, reducing the carbon footprint of production, potentially reducing the amount of fungicide used to grow the crop and lowering the total cost of growing strawberries.

As part of the work scientists will also create a draft genome sequence for the cultivated strawberry. This new genome will be a valuable tool for identifying molecular pathways and processes controlling disease resistance and other traits.

Dr Richard Harrison, the geneticist leading the project at East Malling Research, said: "Strawberries are a remarkable success story for UK horticulture and are one of the few fruit crops where the UK is nearly self-sufficient during the domestic season, from May to October. However, diseases caused by Phytophthora species are a constant threat to growers.

"Taking some of the knowledge gained during studies of the related potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans and transferring it to strawberry pathogens will allow rapid progress to be made in developing resistant varieties for sustainable production."

The approach will build on work pioneered by The Sainsbury Laboratory on using disease genomes to guide new approaches to crop breeding. The Sainsbury Laboratory will provide expertise in pathogen genome analyses to the project.

Berry sales in the UK rose from £146M in 2000 to £783M in 2012, with strawberries representing 60% of the sector.

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "The UK strawberry industry faces some serious challenges. Variable and unpredictable weather conditions are causing problems for growers, and the withdrawal of many fungicides and soil fumigants have led to increased crop losses from soil-borne diseases such as crown rot and red core.

"This research will tackle some of these problems using world-class bioscience to build on previous important work."


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Expanding the DNA Alphabet: 'Extra' DNA Base Found to be Stable in Mammals
A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Controlling Leaf Blotch Disease In Wheat
Scientists have found a genetic mechanism that could stop the spread of a "devastating" disease threatening wheat crops.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Rising Temperatures Predicted to Lower Wheat Yields
An international consortium of researchers has used big data sets to predict the effects climate change on global wheat yields.
Friday, December 26, 2014
UK And India Collaborate On Future-Proof Crops
Drought-tolerant tomatoes, improved wheat and grass pea could provide crops for the future.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Better Understanding of Disease Resistance Genes in Crops
Effector-triggered defence concept describes how plants protect themselves against the apoplast.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Public-private Research Partnership to Support Sustainable Agricultural Systems
The partnership will support projects that will help provide solutions to key challenges affecting the sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors.
Friday, May 23, 2014
A Synthetic Biology Approach to Improve Photosynthesis
Assembling a compartment inside chloroplasts of flowering plants has the potential to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Green Vaccination: Boosting Plant Immunity Without Side Effects
A team of international researchers has uncovered a mechanism by which plants are able to better defend themselves against disease causing pathogens.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Rothamsted Research Granted Permission for new GM Field Trial
Permission granted by Defra for Rothamsted to carry out a field trial with GM Camelina plants that produce omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.
Monday, April 28, 2014
BBSRC, NSF Co-Fund International Arabidopsis Resource

Friday, March 14, 2014
Genetic traits in cattle identified that might allow farmers to breed livestock with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB)
The BBSRC-funded scientists compared the genetic code of TB-infected animals with that of disease-free cattle, could help to impact on a disease that leads to major economic losses worldwide.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
UK Establishes Three New Synthetic Biology Research Centres
Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership will be UK centres for synthetic biology.
Friday, January 31, 2014
£17.7M for Major Long-Term Research Projects to Harness the Power of Bioscience
Research for agriculture, health, alternatives to fossil fuels, and new commercial products.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Crop-Infecting Virus Forces Aphids to Spread Disease
Viruses alter plant biochemistry in order to manipulate visiting aphids into spreading infection.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Octocopter to Monitor Crops
BBSRC has invested in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to monitor crops and crop experiments as part of several genetic improvement projects.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Scientific News
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Accelerating Forage Breeding to Boost Livestock Productivity
International expert skill-sets in genomics and bioinformatics enhance our capacity to breed improved forages for Africa.
Firefly Protein Enables Visualization of Roots in Soil
A new imaging tool from a team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny allows researchers to study the dynamic growth of root systems in soil, and to uncover the molecular signaling pathways that control such growth.
So Long, Snout
Research helps answer how birds got their beaks.
The Tree of Life — More Like A Bush
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a ‘tree of life’, where every branch constitutes a species.
Algae Nutrient Recycling is a Triple Win
Sandia method cheaper, greener and cuts competition for fertilizer.
Non-Transgenic Rapeseed Product Launched For Chinese Market
Cibus and Rotam have announced a new agreement to cooperate in the development of herbicide-tolerant rapeseed in China.
TGAC Leads Development to Diminish Threat to Vietnam’s Most Important Crop
Advanced bioinformatics capabilities for next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding.
BESC Creates Microbe That Bolsters Isobutanol Production
Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!