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Integrated approach for increasing breeding efficiency in fruit tree crops (FRUIT BREEDOMICS)
Start date: Mar 1, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Fruit Breedomics has as its strategic goal to improve the efficiency of fruit breeding by bridging the gap between scientific genetics research and application in breeding. Fruit Breedomics takes a multidisciplinary approach, including genetics, genomics, ecophysiology and bioinformatics, to improve the efficiency apple and peach breeding programmes by: i) developing new and adapted tools, ii) studying a wide range of traits to enlarge the coverage of selection criteria, iii) analysing and exploiting the wide genetic diversity available, iv) making the research outputs (valuable traits, genetic markers and genes, innovative tools and methodologies, new plant material) directly applicable for the breeders, v) establishing a stakeholder network. Fruit Breedomics will provide the European fruit tree sector with cutting-edge breeding tools to improve selection efficiency as well as superior pre-breeding material to meet grower and consumer demands for healthy cultivars of high quality that can be grown in sustainable agriculture systems in the context of climate change. The project will develop tailored molecular and bioinformatics tools to extensively exploit the diversity present in European germplasm collections and breeding populations. This will lead to the selection of desired favourable genes needed for improvement of main horticultural traits. The collected data will provide precious genetic information on the pool of genitors and founders to be used in future breeding programmes. The project will focus primarily on apple and peach, two major fruits in Europe, but many tools and much knowledge gained will also be of benefit to other species of the Rosaceae family via the strong ancestral relatedness among these species.
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