Improved Raspberry Varieties for Moroccan and Tunisian Producers

22 November 2020
Global Plant Genetics is excited to announce that it recently extended its raspberry representation contract with James Hutton Ltd. This means that the company is now able to exclusively offer three new raspberry varieties to growers based in Morocco and Tunisia. These include the two primocane varieties Skye and Lewis as well as the low-chill floricane type Glen Mor. Jamie Petchell, co-owner of the company stated, ”we are looking forward to moving these genetics into north Africa. Both Morocco and Tunisia have excellent environments for the production of raspberries generally and these varieties have great potential to thrive there. The crop is now well-established in both locations, but there is further room for expansion through the use of improved varieties. The raspberry category, like others within berries overall, continues to expand and we are delighted to offer these three improved varieties.”

Each of the three cultivars offers different advantages both to growers and to marketers of berries. Skye is a genuine double-cropping raspberry with superb fruit quality characteristics that are maintained in both the spring and autumn harvest seasons. Trials to date have shown that Skye outperforms currently industry-leading types in terms of yield with similar fruit size and better flavour characteristics. Lewis is the second primocane cultivar and performs differently to Skye in that it has an earlier autumn harvest, providing a long picking season and extremely high yields. Growers can also choose to double crop the variety, but its best performance is as a single harvest type. The low-chill nature of the floricane Glen Mor mean that it can bear a small amount of fruit late in the autumn season, but its principal commercial use will be as a very early spring cropping type. Glen Mor is also being talked about due to the fact that it contains the genetic marker to Phytophthora root rot resistance. This makes it a versatile cultivar in soil grown as well as substrate culture.

The raspberry breeding programme at James Hutton has a globally renowned reputation for producing excellent quality varieties. Indeed, the breeding work has been ongoing for many decades now. The recent work and underpinning science that take place behind the scenes is industry-leading and both go to ensure that both the present and future of the programme are in extremely safe hands. 
Dr Nikki Jennings, Raspberry Breeder for the programme and Jamie Smith, Business Manager for Agri Tech added their thoughts, “We are very excited by the collaboration with GPG, the release of the three new varieties from our breeding programme and now their potential application in Morocco and Tunisia. All three varieties follow the trend towards larger, sweeter berries that better meet the demands of both growers and consumers. We hope that growers will especially appreciate the improved picking efficiency of the primocanes (Lewis and Skye) with the combination of productivity and large fruit size. We are also particularly excited by the release of the floricane (Glen Mor) as the first variety with the presence of a functional root rot resistance marker, thus combining a known Phytophthora resistance with superior fruit quality in a single cultivar.”
In addition to the new opportunity for raspberry growers in Morocco and Tunisia, Global Plant Genetics is also licensing these varieties in a range of other territories across the world, including South / North America, Australia, Southern Africa and a number of others.

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