Research Station Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, CH-8820 Wädenswil

Fruit genetic resources: diversity for the future

Since 1999, the Federal Office of Agriculture (BLW) supports the collection, conservation and description of old fruit varieties within the framework of the National Plan of Action (NAP) for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA). In the course of the nationwide fruit inventory in the years 2000 to 2005, the association Fructus together with ACW and other partners could save more than 2000 varieties in field collections. The four-year NAP-project «Description of fruit genetic resources» (short «BEVOG», NAP 03 – 21) started the characterization of this diversity in 2007. The broad spectrum of old varieties was thereby thoroughly: central issues were agronomic and pomological description as well as genotyping of the varieties. A further important subject comprised the testing of disease susceptibility. Thanks to funding by the BLW, in 2011 the project could pass on to another four-year phase (04-NAP-P21). The preservation of fruit genetic resources and the knowledge of the varieties’ characteristics will benefit fruit breeding programs as well as consumers and producers today and in the future.

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