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Researchers Use Wild Relatives to Breed Eggplants with New and Improved Traits
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2022 09:11AM

A team at the Universitat Polit?¨cnica de Val?¨ncia in Spain led by Jaime
Prohens is set to produce eggplantvarieties that are resilient to
climate changestresses, includingdroughtand the outbreaks of new pests
and diseases.

Through the Eggplant Pre-Breeding Project, the team used wild relatives
of eggplant, the weedy cousins of the domesticated crop, to add new and
useful traits to domesticated varieties so they can withstand hotter,
drier climates in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the
Mediterranean Basin. The offspring of these crosses are now conserved in
genebanks and available to eggplant breeders around the world.

The work was conducted as part of the Crop Wild Relatives Project
supported by the Government of Norway and the Crop Trust. According to
Prohens, the results exceeded their expectations as they did not expect
to be able to generate so many different eggplant crosses. The research
team was able to cross domesticated eggplants with a wild relative that
diverged from their common ancestor almost 7 million years ago, an
extraordinary feat because these plants are so distantly related.

Wild Cousins Boost Eggplant Breeding on Our Warming Planet - Crop Trust

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