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Wädenswil, Switzerland

Laurens F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Aranzana M.J.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Arus P.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Bassi D.,University of Milan | And 14 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The European fruit industry is facing economic challenges imposed by increasingly fierce international competition and decreasing fruit consumption, societal demand for a more sustainable production, and biological problems caused by climate changes. Releasing new cultivars that meet these challenges is a major goal of all European breeding programmes. However, addressing them has been slow due to the nature of fruit tree breeding: long term, low efficiency and high cost. For the past 15 years, efficient networks of fruit geneticists and genomicists have progressively been built thanks in particular to EU-funded projects. Europe has thus become a leader in research on fruit genetics aimed at enhancing fruit quality traits as well as resistance to biotic stresses. European teams working on fruit genetics have developed up-to-date tools and skills covering most of the "omics" fields as well as statistics and software development. Although fruit breeding is very active in Europe, very few breeding programmes are really using the output of the fruit genetics/genomics research. A few bottlenecks can explain this situation. To solve that, a new European initiative has been set up by the FruitBreedomic. This large collaborative project, has the strategic goal of improving the efficiency of current fruit breeding programmes by bridging the existing gap between molecular genetics research and application in breeding. Source

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