Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
New award for U.K. strawberry research


March 13, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

Researchers based at England’s
East Malling Research (EMR) were recently awarded a four-year contract
worth $1.7 million (£750,000) for strawberry wilt disease research.

Researchers based at England’s East Malling Research (EMR) were recently awarded a four-year contract worth $1.7 million (£750,000) for strawberry wilt disease research. The team, led by Dr. David Simpson, plan to use a genetic approach to study resistance to strawberry wilt disease, a serious disease that is widespread in the U.K. The timing of the award is crucial, following the 2005 withdrawal of methyl bromide for soil sterilization to control the pathogen. The project will use the British wild strawberry as a model to study the genetics of resistance to wilt. Work on the model species will lead to the identification of genes that are responsible for resistance in the cultivated strawberry. The strawberry breeding program at EMR has already produced cultivars with partial resistance to wilt, including Florence and Flamenco, but screening has been based on the development of symptoms in the field and the inheritance of resistance is not understood at the genetic level.

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