Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Research centre showcases apple orchard and breeding program

September 24, 2019  By Jennifer Paige

Jennifer Paige

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre held the What’s Growin’ On Research Farm Open House on Thursday, Sept. 19. The world-class research centre, which is dedicated to horticulture science and innovation, opened its doors to interested parties to showcase its apple orchard and related research projects.

As attendees walked through the Centre’s apple orchard, Daryl Somers, Vineland research director in applied genomics, apple breeding, discussed the Centre’s various research undertakings that explore disease resistance, DNA sequencing, improved flavour, increased production efficiencies, induced variation, revere genetics and trait development.

“We are evaluating approximately 22,000 different apple trees here. Every year we are planting new varieties to analyze and we are  harvesting about 150 boxes of apples every year,” Somers said. “You will see a Vineland-bred apple on shelves across Canada one day.”

Amy Bowen, PhD research director, was also on site to discuss Vineland’s multi-disciplinary Consumer Insights research program. Through a number of sensory panels, consumer insights, and sensory evaluations, researchers are using consumer data to lead horticultural product development and positioning, build marketing programs and increase promotion of new fruit tree cultivars.

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre open house is held annually at the Centre’s Lincoln, Ont., research farm to showcase research progress to stakeholders and interested parties. The Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

For more information on Vineland’s current research projects, visit:

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