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Core collection of Northern European gene pool of Ribes - RIBESCO
The objectives of the action are:
• To improve the level of gentypic and phenotypic characterisation and conservation of the northern pool European Ribes (currants and gooseberry) genetic diversity
• To improve the information and safety level of the collections of Ribes genetic resource
• To establish a decentralised core collection of the Northern EC Ribes gene banks; this core collection shall be the most important part of the national collections and preserved with special intensity
• To improve the direction of resources to the most valuable part, taking advantage of trans-national sharing of expenses and other investments, and avoiding waste of capacity.
• To promote the transfer and use of Ribes genetic material on a European scale

The project is designed to progress according to following topics:

Description of qualities of collected plants
The Ribes plants conserved in national collections are subjected to the description of morphological as well as quality characteristics with agronomic value. The information obtained is used when selecting material to the Ribes core collection. Documentation of collections is improved and the previously designed Ribes database is completed.

Molecular characterisation
To give a reliable estimate of the genetic relationships among the candidate plants, micro satellite marker technology is used. The molecular data provides a suggestion for an optimal core collection, which would represent the maximum amount of genetic variation. In addition, the trueness-to-type of cultivars to be selected to the core collection is assured, and duplicated accessions are uncovered.

Core collection definition
The most valuable part of Ribes genetic resource is selected to the core collection. Selection is partly based on values defined by morphological characterisation as well as agronomic, historical or other important cultural values. Plant material containing a high level of genetic variability is selected. Unnecessary replications are eliminated and safety back-up collections are defined. The definition improves the direction of resources to the most valuable part, taking advantage of trans-national sharing of expenses and other investments, and avoiding waste of capacity.

Core collection establishment
The Ribes core collection is established to assure the preservation of selected plant samples, each to be conserved as duplicates. For conservation, both field collections, micropropagation and cryopreservation are used. Commonly approved acts for the maintenance of the Ribes core collection will secure the conservation of the most valuable genetic resources of Ribes in the northern region of the EC.

Relevance to the objectives
It is important to assure adaptational flexibility in European agricultural plants to be able to continue production even when environmental conditions will change in ways still unforeseen for us. Northern Europe is the leading producer of Ribes species fruit, black currant, red/white currant and gooseberry. Currants are partly endemic and grow wild in Northern Europe. Thus, there is responsibility of this Community area to secure the availability of the genetic resources of Ribes.
Due to the especially high nutritive value of the Ribes fruit and vegetation, an increasing variety of functional products will be developed. The supply of genotypes with divergent quality, and those with already known exceptionally high level of advantageous compounds shall be assured, to be prepared for further demands in the future. Not only breeders and farmers, but also end-users, food-consumers, will benefit from this.

The project receives financial support from the European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, under Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 (Action 071).
Internet home page: www.mtt.fi/ribesco



NEWS

The RIBESCO Core Collection has been selected. Please click “RIBESCO CORE COLLECTION” on the right to see it. The  link“Fact Sheet” on the right gives a summary of our work. Also the Final Technical Report is now available.

The results of the characterization work of RIBESCO you can find by using the link to the ECPGR Ribes and Rubus database.

  Project Leader:
Saila Karhu
HANKETIEDOT - SUOMI MTT
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Link to the ECPGR Ribes and Rubus Database
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Description of RIBESCO pdf
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