GPG brings new blackberry genetics to the market

22 May 2024

Global Plant Genetics (GPG) and Polish Rubus breeding programme, Niwa, have just concluded a licensing arrangement for two new primocane blackberry varieties. The agreement is for GPG to represent the Maryna and Juhas cultivars in a range of international territories.

Bartek Danek, Director of Niwa, stated, “it has been important for our blackberry breeding efforts to develop primocane varieties. The global blackberry industry has been growing steadily for a number of years now and it is crucial that improved cultivars are released to help with this growth and to accelerate it even further. We are pleased to complete this agreement with GPG and we look forward to seeing the Maryna and Juhas varieties growing across the world in the next few years.”

Agnieszka Orzel, Breeder at Niwa, commented, “I have been working on primocane blackberries for many years now. It has always been important to me and the overall breeding programme that our first releases were of the best possible quality. In addition to the obligatory fruit yield and quality aspects, I have focused on high levels of self-fertility and thornlessness. As a result, I am confident that the Maryna and Juhas varieties can adapt very well to the important global blackberry growing regions. Self-fertility is oft forgotten in Rubus breeding but it can have a huge impact on primocane yields in warmer climates. From our initial results, we see that Maryna is better adapted to double cropping and that Juhas is more suitable for single primocane harvesting.”

Jamie Petchell said, “having first seen and tasted the Maryna and Juhas varieties last year, I was excited at their potential in blackberry growing climates where we operate. With the global blackberry sector that has almost doubled in size over the last 20 years, some would say in spite of the general varietal offer, there is now a great opportunity to speed this up. The consistent supply of a high-quality berry product year-round will only contribute to a larger slice of the berry cake for blackberries over the next few years. In my opinion, Maryna and Juhas have every opportunity to play an important role in these developments and we’re excited to see them across the world in the coming seasons.”

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