Conservation of Ribes and Rubus cultivars in the Swedish National Gene Bank
The Swedish National Gene Bank for Vegetatively Propagated Horticultural Crops at Alnarp was opened in 2016. In order to secure cultivars for the future the wider gene bank preservation system for Ribes and Rubus will also include a back-up collection of virus-free plants kept in protected cultivation at the Swedish Elite Plant Station. As reported by Hjalmarsson and Wallace (2004) the first step in establishing the berry part of the gene bank was a literature survey aimed at identifying so called mandate cultivars. In this article we outline the remainder of the process leading up to the opening of the gene bank along with its current content. We also analyze the mandate cultivars considering their country of origin, year of introduction, and their historical importance in Swedish berry production. As for Ribes the mandate list comprises 87 cultivars of currant and gooseberry, while for Rubus there are 38 cultivars of raspberry, blackberry and all-field berry. We also highlight some of the issues involved in identifying and recovering selected cultivars. So far approximately 65% of the mandate cultivars have been recovered, with a further 10-15% being expected to be added in a near future. According to our experience old local cultivars tend be the most difficult to find and identify.
Hjalmarsson, I. (2020). Conservation of Ribes and Rubus cultivars in the Swedish National Gene Bank. Acta Hortic. 1277, 89-94
genetic resources, gene bank, heirloom cultivars, currant, gooseberry, raspberry