The cultivation of Ribes fruits (black- and redcurrants and gooseberries) is aimed at both fresh and processing markets, with the blackcurrant R. nigrum particularly important in the latter. Breeding is increasingly focused on national and regional requirements, and for blackcurrant the specific quality requirements of the processing industry are key objectives in many programmes, alongside agronomic traits such as yield and pest resistance. Durable resistance to foliar pathogens and damaging pests such as gall mite remains a high priority, partly due to increasing interest in integrated crop management systems. Many Ribes species, especially the darker-fruited blackcurrant types, contain high concentrations of polyphenolic compounds, notably anthocyanins and flavonols, and these components are of growing importance due to their link to human health, together with high levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The development of marker-assisted breeding strategies in Ribes is in progress, to improve breeding efficiency and time to cultivar, and QTLs affecting several important phenological, agronomic and fruit quality traits have been located on the recently-developed linkage map for blackcurrant. Additionally, markers linked to key traits such as gall mite resistance are under development.


Fresh Market Winter Hardiness Spring Frost Fruit Quality Trait Black Currant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R.M. Brennan
    • 1
  1. 1.Scottish Crop Research InstituteInvergowrieScotland UK

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