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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

Fruit Genetic Resources, Fruit Genebank

Preservation and use of fruit biodiversity. Our fruit genebank includes thousands of genetically different accessions of native fruit cultivars and their related wild species. It is important to conserve this diversity, which offers unique resources for basic genetic research and fruit breeding.

Since inception of the Dresden-Pillnitz research location, fruit genetic resources have been collected and transferred here from other locations in Germany and abroad. In our fruit genebank, accessions of different fruits cultivars and wild fruit species grow on an area of around 10 hectares. These accessions exist in the field as ex situ collections with two to three replicates. Our fruit genebank includes cultivars and wild species collections of the following:

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Sweet cherry
  • Sour cherry
  • Plum
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry

Other wild fruit (e.g. mountain ash, sea buckthorn)
Cryopreservation protocols are developed especially for wild relatives as backups for plants in active collections in order to provide security in case of a disease or environmental disaster. Since our collections represent an enormous genetic diversity, a comprehensive collection and analyses of data is necessary in order to be able to use the collections as resources in a targeted manner. In addition to a large number of established methods, we also use modern technologies for digital phenotyping. We collect and evaluate:

  • Data for traits that are inheritable (independent of the environment) including characteristics that are visible to the naked eye, such as growth, fruit color, etc.
  • Data that describe complex (environment-dependent) characters such as yield, resistance to pests and diseases, cultivation properties, etc.

Data are stored in databases and available to users.
We also coordinate the German Fruit genebank (Deutschen Genbank Obst, DGO in short). This decentralized network serves to preserve fruit cultivars in Germany sustainably.

As regards the supply of material for research, breeding and education purposes, all necessary information and application forms are provided under "Material transfer" here