GENOTYPE, ENVIRONMENT AND CULTIVATION SYSTEMS: WHAT WILL BERRY PRODUCTION BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

C. Carlen , P. Crespo
Berries are emerging crops with high economic value. Even if the present production methods are efficient in different environmental conditions, they still need to be improved to reduce their resource needs and production costs, and to increase the availability of high quality berry fruits on the market.
As the climate changes and a higher frequency of extreme climatic events may occur, new high-yielding berry genotypes tolerant and stable to weather extremes are required. Therefore, better knowledge on flower induction and differentiation, and chilling has to be attained and new breeding approaches have to be tested.
Modern cultivation systems should increase profitability for farmers and increase berries’ availability on the market. On the one hand, this could be achieved by an increased productivity and optimised cultivation systems to decrease the costs. For example, double cropping and separation of the vegetative plant development and fruit production periods seem to be interesting approaches for the future. On the other hand, the out-of-season production might be increased, so that berry fruits are available to the consumer for longer periods as a result of both early and late produc-tion. However, the success of such systems will be mainly related to increased knowledge of berry physiology.
To increase the sustainability of berry production, the resource inputs and environmental losses have to be optimised both for field and for soilless production. New technologies will help to minimise losses of external inputs in protected, closed-cycle production. Furthermore, the importance of breeding for resistance as well as the use of biological control systems will increase in the future to control pests and diseases.
Finally, enhancement of the sensory, nutritional and nutraceutical quality of berries remain an important topic. Since the major quality traits are mainly influenced by the genotype and to a much lower extent by the environment and the cultivation systems, breeding seems to be the most efficient approach to increase the quality of berry fruits in the future.
Carlen , C. and Crespo, P. (2012). GENOTYPE, ENVIRONMENT AND CULTIVATION SYSTEMS: WHAT WILL BERRY PRODUCTION BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE?. Acta Hortic. 926, 381-386
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.926.53
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.926.53
availability of berries, cultivar, climat change, fruit quality, profitability, sustainability
English

Acta Horticulturae