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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 sustainable cultivation and healthy nutrition. We combine classic and state-of-the-art breeding methods to develop robust fruit cultivars that combine excellent taste and resistance/tolerance against biotic and abiotic stress factors

The Institute for Breeding Research on Fruit Crops has over 100 years of experience in breeding fruit cultivars. The Pillnitz breeding program has produced fruit cultivars that are known worldwide for their top quality including high resistance to diseases and environmental influences, reliably high yield, attractive fruit quality, suitable for intensive cultivation, home gardens and useful for the fresh market and processing.
We have a uniquely extensive and diverse collection of genetic resources from various fruit species and their wild relatives. Our collection serves as the starting material for breeding and research. We use innovative methods to screen our genetic resources in search of suitable donors of desirable traits, which offspring could inherit following crossings. In addition to conventional crossing techniques, we use the latest findings in genetics and genomics for efficient DNA-informed breeding. We identify and characterize genes that are involved in traits of interest and use the knowledge gained directly in our breeding programs. Our research generates new knowledge that is valuable to the broader research community and enables the breeding of improved fruit cultivars for sustainable and resourceful fruit growing. Our research focuses primarily on apple, pear, sweet cherry and sour cherry.

Our goals are:

  • Collection, conservation, evaluation und exploration of fruit genetic resources
  • Development of new cultivars with

    • Resistance to economically important diseases and pest
    • Best value characteristics for fresh market and processing
    • High health value
    • Better adaptation to local environmental conditions

  • Development and use of new molecular and biotechnology tools for efficient and targeted breeding

Close networking with partners in universities and other research institutions, with tree nurseries, fruit growers and industry guarantees us access to valuable knowledge and resources. Our partnership enables us to adapt our breeding goals to several needs. Cooperation with various research institutions worldwide results in innovative research projects that give us access to funding from third-party donors.