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 and other wild fruit such as mountain ash and sea buckethorn
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. On one hand 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. On the other hand we assemble data that describe complex (environment-dependent) characters such as yield, resistance to pests and diseases, cultivation properties, etc. These 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.