Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Varietal diversity in horticulture

New vegetable varieties must be grown at different regional sites to evaluate their specific potential with respect to time and duration of the harvesting period, their yield and quality. Additionally, cultivars with resistance or tolerance to pests and/or pathogen must be tested under defined conditions in the field. In future, more information is needed on the interaction of genotypes and environment. This should provide more scientific knowledge of the growth patterns of varieties in relation to local climatic conditions which should enable the prediction of optimal harvest time and transition to the generative stage (bolting). The variation within varieties with respect to form and yield is an other subject of investigation, e.g. for onion the regression coefficient between onion diameter and onion weight is R2= >0.97. Furthermore, changes in the demands of consumers and the market for new goods, e.g. packed salad mixtures – baby leaf – mini-vegetables and organically grown products must be considered in further experiments to be performed in close co-operation with the research groups working on production systems, plant protection, storage and processing.

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