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19. 08. 2019

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R&D + Breeding

Our focus and main priority is on improving disease resistance.  Our attention goes especially to downy mildew (Fig. 1) which is nowadays probably the most important cucumber disease found not just in Europe.  In several past years we’ve turned our work also towards the mosaic virus ZYMV (Fig. 2) that is greatly harming crops of cucurbits and cucumbers in southern regions.

Fig. 1 - Downy mildew. Left - susceptible material, right - resistant material.Fig. 2 - Virus mosaic ZYMV. Left - resistant material, right - susceptible material.

While we can assess cucumber resistance to downy mildew in a field, for ZYMV and other diseases it is not possible.  That’s why in 2004 we built a special facility called Phytotron (Fig. 3) - air conditioned growth chamber (4 x 7 x 2 m) with artificial lighting cca 25 klx.  Here we are testing a resistance of young cucumber seedlings in a specific temperature and humidity controlled settings (5 – 30 oC, and up to 90 % RH).
Phytopathological laboratory (Fig. 4) together with a smaller technical unit for maintaining the in-use pathogens is a necessary part of our Phytotron.

Fig. 3 - Phytotron - growth chaber. Interior unit.Fig. 4 - Laboratory. Interior unit.

With the utilization of these technical equipments through large screening tests we have already acquired several of very resistant initial materials (Fig. 5, 6).  Some programs of breeding are now in the long term directed towards producing new varieties, which will bring not only high yields of superb quality fruits, but will be also significantly more disease resistant.  Specifically towards already mentioned ZYMV, CMV and downy mildew.

Fig. 5 - Phytotron - growth chamber. Resistance testing of cucumber seedlings to virus ZYMV.Fig. 6 - Artificially infected cucumber seedlings to test their resistance to virus ZYMV. Left - susceptible material, right - resistant material.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 February 2009 18:17
 

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