09 Mar 2022

The next genaration of raspberries is coming according to Global Plant Genetics


In this interview for Fruitnet, Jamie Petchell presents the GPG/James Hutton offering and looks at how the industry might develop in the future.

The global area of raspberries has almost doubled since 1990 and is currently estimated at 125,000 hectares. Much of this area is devoted to processed products such as preserves, sweets and juices. Fresh production accounts for about 30% of the total area, but much more in terms of tonnes produced.

Plantations for the processing industry tend to be on a larger scale and employ traditional extensive production methods. Today, the fresh raspberry industry is almost all under sheltered growing structures, with much of it grown in intensive, high-density systems.

Jamie Petchell, Director of Global Plant Genetics

The key elements of these intensive systems, in addition to the protected growing facilities, include the use of high-quality potted longcane plants. This type of plant material allows high yields of excellent quality fruit, which is harvested about 90 days after planting.

Production in pots also significantly reduces the riskof disease in the crop, particularly soil-borne pathogens. In addition, the use of re-flowering primocane varieties means that two crops per year can be harvested from the same plantation.


At Global Plant Genetics, we work closely with the James Hutton raspberry breeding programme. In the recent past, we have brought to market four new varieties that, in combination, offer great quality and high yields in an extended harvest window.

The Skye raspberry variety is a true double-crop, early-dog variety that produces a lot in both spring and autumn. The quality of the fruit in terms of size, shelf life, colour and flavour is industry-leading. In addition, its low chilling requirements mean that it can be grown in a wide range of climates.


Lewis or Bonnie Lewis, as it is known in the USA, is a true primocane type that produces early in the primocane season, matching Skye perfectly in that harvest window. It also has excellent fruit quality, with exceptional flavour and excellent shelf life. Lewis can also be grown to have two crops, and it is in his floricane crop where Brix levels have been recorded at 14%.


Glen Mor is a low-temperature floricane type that also has the special feature of producing top fruit late in the early season. This variety is the first to be released from the breeding programme with the Rub118b genetic marker, which gives resistance to raspberry root rot, Phytophthora Rubi. In addition, the variety has an early harvest season and excellent fruit quality, including size, colour, shape, shelf life and flavour.

Glen Mor

Glen Carron is the fourth raspberry in this programme represented by Global Plant Genetics. It is a highly chilled floricane variety that is particularly suited to long-cane production methods. It is harvested at the beginning of the summer season and has an outstanding fruit yield. In addition, the fruit quality is excellent and Glen Carron consistently ranks among the best in taste panels.

Glen Carron


Raspberry breeding has developed significantly over the last decade and any new product is now expected to be able to withstand the rigours of the modern supply chain. This means that shelf life is almost unrecognisable compared to the varieties popular at the turn of the century.

What's next for raspberry selection in terms of fruit quality? Now that consumers expect and generally receive a good quality product on retailers' shelves, one area that could be further explored is that of flavour.

The flavour of raspberries can be a divisive topic. Traditionalists often prefer a bit of bite and acidity in their raspberries and we certainly hear less of that with some modern varieties. Younger palates may prefer sweeter berries, as with other crops and foods. What is certain is that modern breeding techniques will allow the development of either or both much more quickly than in the past.

Genetic markers, such as those in the Glen Mor cultivar, could be developed for a whole range of other traits in new raspberry varieties. We expect them to become much more important in the selection of future raspberries.

New markers in terms of fruit size, shelf life, yield metrics and, indeed, flavour could be developed in the near future. This would mean that the best varieties in all these aspects could be developed much faster than using traditional breeding techniques.

Source: Fruitnet
Fruitnet is part of the NCX Media network

NCX Media network

Potrebbe interessarti anche