DR RICHARD VOLZ (Plant & Food Research)
The 45 traits, if we talk about a trait as being an individual attribute of a fruit such as crispness or high yield, all these traits in the fruit. And if we count them all up and the number that we assess during the selection process there is roughly around 45 traits that we are assessing.
There are different sorts of information that we use to choose breeding parents. Some of the most important is actually the phenotype of the individual parents, and what we are trying to do is not just select the one parent but also think about the combination of the two parents to develop the new seedling that you have in mind. So you will be looking at the fruit quality and the productivity traits of the potential parent. The things that we concentrate on particularly at the first stage of cultivar breeding is fruit texture, flavour, attractiveness, and freedom from disorders. What we have to remember is that we are dealing with thousands and thousands of fruiting seedlings in any one season, and so any tests at that stage have to be quite quick.