Recent progress in strawberry breeding and genetics at NIAB EMR, East Malling, UK

A.B. Whitehouse, A.W. Johnson, H.M. Cockerton, C.F. Nellist, B. Li, F. Wilson, K.J. Hopson, A.J. Passey, R.J. Harrison
The strawberry breeding programme at East Malling (NIAB EMR), Kent, UK (UK) has successfully released 45 cultivars, primarily to the northern European market, since its inception in 1983. Since 2008 funding for the commercial programme has been met via the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club (EMSBC), a public-private partnership. The EMSBC objectives are to develop a range of high-quality cultivars with overlapping seasons which crop in succession and combine excellent fruit quality with high yield, low percentage waste and resistance to fungal and oomycete diseases. Since 2008 the programme has released seven new cultivars including 'Malling™ Centenary' which has become the UK standard short-day cultivar and more recently 'Malling™ Allure' and 'Malling™ Champion', late short-day and everbearer cultivars respectively. A number of promising advanced selections, particularly everbearers, are in the final large-scale trials, and show commercial potential. The EMSBC programme is seeking to incorporate the outputs from allied, molecular genetic based research at NIAB EMR, particularly in relation to disease resistance. Recent developments have included the identification of QTL associated with resistance to powdery mildew (Podosphaera aphanis) and strawberry crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) and successful use of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis in both the diploid and octoploid strawberry. In addition, the development of breeding tools has included a 3D imaging system for strawberry fruit quality and drone-based phenotyping platform for field disease screening.
Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W., Cockerton, H.M., Nellist, C.F., Li, B., Wilson, F., Hopson, K.J., Passey, A.J. and Harrison, R.J. (2021). Recent progress in strawberry breeding and genetics at NIAB EMR, East Malling, UK. Acta Hortic. 1309, 169-174
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1309.25
Fragaria ×ananassa, cultivar, June-bearer, short-day, everbearer, disease resistance, quantitative trait loci, phenotyping

Acta Horticulturae