Conservation of fruit genetic resources in Sweden
Since 2016, Sweden's pomological heritage is the responsibility of the Swedish National Gene Bank for Vegetatively Propagated Horticultural Crops. In this article, we describe the background to its establishment, and how the preservation system for fruit cultivars is organized. The system focuses on so called mandate cultivars. A mandate cultivar is a cultivar that is either of Swedish origin or that has a long growing tradition within the country. Today some 350 mandate cultivars are preserved within the gene bank preservation system, of these 220 are apples, 55 pears, 45 plums and 30 cherries. In 2012, the planting of a central collection at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp was started with the aim to assemble all mandate cultivars in the same field. Along with this central collection, the gene bank preservation system also has back-ups at 14 local clonal archives hosted by botanical gardens, outdoor museums and other similar types of establishments. Each cultivar is therefore preserved with two trees in the collection at Alnarp and two trees in a clonal archive. The allocation of cultivars to clonal archives reflects their geographic origins. For example, the apple cultivar 'P. J. Bergius' is preserved at the Bergius Botanic Garden in Stockholm, while the Gotlandic apple cultivar 'Stenkyrke' is preserved by a local museum on the island of Gotland. Besides their responsibility to safeguard mandate cultivars the clonal archives are also partners in disseminating knowledge about the local pomological heritage to the general public.
Hjalmarsson, I. (2021). Conservation of fruit genetic resources in Sweden. Acta Hortic. 1307, 147-152
fruit gene bank, heirloom cultivars, apple, pear, plum, cherry