S. Pluta
Cultivated Ribes crops include blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.), red and white currants (R. petraeum Wulf. and R. rubrum L.), as well as gooseberry (Ribes grossularia L., syn. R. uva-crispa L.). The blackcurrants are the most important due to large area in cultivation, high production levels, and fruit health benefits for consumers. There are about 15 active Ribes breeding programs carried out worldwide, with most of them focused on releasing blackcurrant cultivars. The main breeding centers are located in Scotland, Poland, New Zealand, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and Serbia. The breeding efforts in redcurrants and gooseberries are small and mostly located in Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, and Russia. Most Ribes breeding programs are publicly funded, although some of them have commercial funding. The breeding aims are common and similar in different countries. These are: breeding for resistance to main pests and diseases, breeding for fruit quality and suitability for fresh market and processing, and good adaptability to local environmental conditions. New techniques of molecular biology have been supporting the conventional breeding. Apart from the DNA fingerprinting of Ribes germplasm, the most suitable and informative for genotyping of breeding progenies are AFLPs, SSRs and SNP markers. Recently, the development of marker-assisted breeding strategies in Ribes has been in progress. In addition, the first linkage map of Ribes has been developed using SSRs, AFLP and SNP markers, and QTLs affecting several important phenological, agronomic and fruit quality traits. The fruit production of Ribes crops (black- and red currants and gooseberries) is mainly destined for processing and freezing industries with less fruit going to the fresh market. Blackcurrant has been grown commercially in Poland, United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, and New Zealand with a fully mechanized fruit harvest and maintenance of plantations. Redcurrant production often supplements the blackcurrant cultivation. The main producers are Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Slovakia, with very small quantities in Chile. Production of gooseberry is smaller than black- and red currants. The main producing countries are Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic states. The prices paid for Ribes fruit and the crops profitability for growers in different countries depends frequently on the weather conditions and the resulting yield. The fruit production and selling of black-, red currants and gooseberries in some EU countries and New Zealand is based on the written contract agreements between processing industries and growers. In other countries the production is not contracted. Commercial growers of Ribes in some countries are well organized while in other countries there are no organizations at all. The main production problem, mostly in blackcurrants, are connected with the spread of the gall mite and blackcurrant reversion virus (BRV) due to lack of effective chemical or cultural controls for this pest. Recently, several cultivars resistant to the pest and BRV have been released from breeding programs in different countries.
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.946.1
blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum L., redcurrant, R. rubrum L., gooseberry, R. grossularia L., (syn. R. uva-crispa L.), breeding aims, markers, fruit production

Acta Horticulturae