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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Prof. Dr. Henryk Flachowsky (Acting Head)

Pillnitzer Platz 3a
01326 Dresden, Germany

Ms Martina Tanner
Tel: +49(0)394647 – 8001
+49(0)394647 – 8002
zo@  julius-kuehn.  de

Institute leaflet
Institute booklet

Innovative breeding for a sustainable environment and human health

We combine traditional breeding with advanced technologies to fasten the development of better fruit cultivars with excellent taste, resistance against pathogens and robustness to changing climatic conditions. Our fruit novelties show best characters both for trees and fruit, designed for producers and consumers demand.

The Institute for Breeding Research on Fruit Crops has more than 90 years of experience in breeding of fruit crops. The Pillnitz fruit cultivars are known worldwide for their innovation and high quality. They have afforded us a reputation for developing new cultivars with robustness to diseases and environmental stress, reliable high yield and attractive fruit quality that are suitable for professional orcharding as well as for hobby gardening, and for fresh market as well as for processing.

Our broad collections of genetic resources contain different fruit crops of unique diversity. These collections provide a genetic resource for our breeding and research programs. Using advanced strategies, we search for suitable crossing parents able to pass on desired characters to their progeny. Traditional breeding techniques in combination with genetics and genomics help us to accelerate breeding processes in an efficient manner. We identify and isolate genes of interest. We use our built knowledge of genes and molecular mechanisms that control traits to find best parental combinations for a perfect design. We also use knowledge of plant breeding and genomics to promote a sustainable and eco-friendly fruit production. Our research enables an efficient use of better fruit cultivars that meet the requirements of limited environmental impact and lower input in production.

Our targets are to develop:

  • New cultivars with resistance against economically important diseases and pathogens
  • New cultivars with premium traits for fresh market and processing
  • New cultivars with high nutritional value
  • New cultivars with  better adaption to changing climatic conditions
  • New molecular and biotechnological tools to accelerate the development of new fruit cultivars

Our research focuses on apple, pear, sweet and sour cherry, strawberry and raspberry, which are of importance to Germany.

We collaborate with partners from universities and other research institutions, tree nurseries, growers, fruit producers and industry. Scientific collaborations provide us with access to knowledge and resources. We cooperate with scientific institutions on joint projects worldwide. Our research is engaging and innovative. We have access to external funding sources.