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Conservation and breeding potential of native fruits in the Czech Republic and Norway - NATFRUIT

Finished Last updated: 18.11.2020
End: apr 2017
Start: may 2015

Fruits are irreplaceable part of human diet with compounds beneficial for human health. Native fruits are even more important, since they represent germplasm for future, treasury of genes, a range of bioactive compounds, antioxidant capacity, metabolomic pattern and other traits desirable for breeding in the environment and climate changing and for healthy food.

Status Concluded
Start - end date 01.05.2015 - 30.04.2017
Project manager Inger Martinussen
Total budget 2400000

According to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other international agreements, there is a responsibility of each nation to conserve its own germplasm. Crop wild relatives and landraces of small fruit species will be assessed for their threat in wild habitats and conservation needs.

Within the project, native and naturalised species of Czech and Norwegian flora will be revised in native sites, characterized morphologically, chemically and genetically in order to analyse their diversity, population divergence/similarity and to use them potentialy in crop breeding. Critically endangered glacial relic in Czech flora Rubus chamaemorus will be genetically compared with the Norwegian vicariant. The level of divergence of vicariant material separated after glacial period will be compared with divergence among country populations. Landraces still occurring in landscape will be checked, mapped, and genetically characterized.

Conservation ex situ includes classical gene bank storage, and in vitro and cryo-conservation. Individual plants of all species with a higher fruit performance or other characters of interest will be evaluated for properties useful for breeding.

The project was based on collaboration between Czech and Norwegian institutions and it was designed to meet conservation and research needs of both countries equally.  New knowledge can help conservationists in planning in situ conservation, in selecting of localities with diverse materials, in order to conserve as wide as possible diversity of species.