GoodBerry is growing older - one year into the berry world

Following the official project start in March 2016, all GoodBerry partners have taken significant initial research activities towards the realisation of the project’s objectives.

Within year one, GoodBerry partners have developed harmonized standard operation procedures on phenotyping the overall plant performance and traits as well as on transcriptome analysis for the important berry fruit crops strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant. Several of those berry fruit cultivars have been established in EU and non-EU locations so that the objective of identifying elite cultivated berry germplasm has been brought one step closer. Additional research activities have produced schematic overviews of the main parameters - nutrients, temperature and light - effecting flower initiation, dormancy breaking and disease control as initial step to develop new cultivation techniques and strategies adapting to climate changes.

A model population and two parents of strawberry has been established and cultivated and in parallel, DNA extraction, quality & quantity assessment and the preparation of a fingerprinting set has been carried out. To determine the performance of a new model strawberry population in different geographic locations, 35 individual strawberry lines are already planted in different EU locations.

To identify new factors controlling fruit quality and production under suboptimal environmental conditions, harmonized standard operation procedures for different parameters related to fruit quality such as dry matter, total sugar, total acidity, pH, total antioxidant, firmness as well as sensorial analysis have been developed. A database has been set up based on an established LIFERAY technology platform to collect, store and analyse data in a sustainable way which will contain harmonized protocols and analytical data from different cultivated berries planted in different locations.

Being a multi-actor project, GoodBerry has established intensive and active cooperation between berry breeders and scientists as a rule. Besides their research activities, the GoodBerry partners have taken part in international conferences, workshops or local food fairs to share the vision and objectives of the project with key stakeholders and the public.