Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
The potential for rosehips


May 22, 2012
By Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Topics
AAC Sylvia Arlene

May 22, 2012 – An Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada plant research team led by Dr. Bourlaye Fofana has applied for plant breeder’s rights for a wild rose plant variety discovered and grown in the field on Prince Edward Island that could be the foundation of a new crop for local farmers.

The team applied for plant breeder’s rights (PBR) after extensive agronomic, genetic, chemistry, and bioactivity research through the Innovative Canadian Bioactives and Nutraceuticals (ICAN) project.

The project was launched to identify the make-up of 30 wild rose plants on P.E.I. lines and several worldwide samples, and to measure the potential of rosehip plants in the development of drugs or nutraceuticals.

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The research means the rose plant variety in question – named AAC Sylvia Arlene ­– can be grown by local farmers for ingredients that can be used in the development of drugs or nutraceuticals.

The rosehip has valuable vitamin C, levels and offers potential health and nutritional benefits.

Plant breeders’ rights provide exclusive control over the seed, cuttings, tissue culture cut flowers, fruit, and foliage of any new variety. With these rights, the breeder can choose to become the exclusive marketer of the variety, or to license the variety to others.

Plant breeder’s rights protection, if granted for this rosehip variety, will give P.E.I. growers a commercial advantage because of it traceability by origin, distinct profile, and genetic identity.

Granting an official PBR protection is expected from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after a field evaluation this summer.

This will not be the first wild rosehip selection to be named. Similar cases have been approved and are grown in Europe.

AAC Sylvia-Arlene is named after Crops and Livestock Research Centre (CLRC) technician Sylvia Wyand who did some work during the early rosehip research.

The research started in 2005 when AAFC scientist Kevin Sanderson put together a strategy to develop rosehips as a commercial field crop.

AAC Sylvia-Arlene was selected based on the height and size of the plant, the survival rate, yield performance, genetic distinctiveness, ability for mechanical harvesting, as well as distinct chemical composition and bioactivity.