Fruit crop genetic resources


The Latvia State Institute of Fruit growing holds and studies the widest fruit crop genetic resources collection in Latvia. The collection includes 989 cultivars originated in Latvia and some accessions with special value equal to cultivars, varieties of local origin, landraces, foreign cultivars with a long growing history in Latvia and also samples of wild relatives of cultivated plants collected in Latvia. Besides, Institute holds a collection of reference varieties for DUS testing, according to UPOV guidelines.

Main activities:
- preservation of fruit crop genetic resources;
- research of fruit crop genetic resources;
- expeditions for the collection of fruit plant genetic resources.

Preservation of genetic resources:

According to the current subsidizing principles coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture, the preserved fruit crop genetic resources (FCGR) include accessions of the following origin, conditionally divided into 2 groups:  

Group 1. Cultivars of Latvian breeding, as well as clones and elite hybrids originated and selected in Latvia with valuable quantitative or qualitative traits; varieties of local origin (landraces), including foreign cultivars with a long growing history (over 100 years) in Latvia;

Group 2. Clones and elite hybrids originated in Latvia with valuable quantitative or qualitative traits, which are still in the process of evaluation (breeding program of LSIFG and evaluation of the breeding material from the former „Iedzeni” experimental farm which is done at LSIFG and Pure Horticultural Research Centre), as well as reference varieties for the performance of DUS test.

Methods of preservation: FCGR are preserved only ex situ (in field collections). Each accession of tree plants is preserved as 2 trees; berry bushes (including blueberries and Japanese quince) and grapes as 3 plants; rootstocks, raspberries, cranberries and lingonberries (cowberries) – 10 plants; strawberries as 30 plants. FCGR collection is maintained according to the growing demands of each crop, still there is always a risk that weather conditions damage the collections and individual accessions. For the reason of safety  Group 1 accessions are duplicated – the base collection is maintained at LSIFG, but reserve duplications – at Pure HRC. At present 423 samples of fruit crop genetic resources have been duplicated.

Research of genetic resources:

Descriptors for the evaluation and characterization of Latvian fruit crop genetic resources are worked out at present for:
- pears (Pyrus communis L.);
- raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.);
- strawberries (Fragaria ananassa);
- gooseberries (Ribes grossularia L.);
- rowan (Sorbus sp.);
- grapes (Vitis vinifera L., Vitis labrusca L.);
- hazel trees (Corylus avellana L.);
- sea buckthorns (Hippophae rhamnoides L.);
- apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.);
- red and white currant (Ribes sylvestre Lam. Mert & W. D. J. Koch., R. Niveum Lindl. et hybrids);
- japanese quince (Cheanomeles sp. L.);
- plum (Prunus domestica L., Prunus salicina u.c. );
- black currant (Ribes nigrum L.).

Molecular genetic passportiation of fruit crop genetic resources has been started:

- working out methods (apples, sweet and sour cherries, black and red  currants, gooseberries, pears, plums, raspberries);

- performing molecular passportization, data analysis (apples, black and red currants, cherries, goosberries, raspberries).


Institute of Biology, University of Latvia – application of methods of quantitative genetics

Latvia Genetic Resources Centre, State Forestry Science Institute “Silava” – application of molecular markers, data analysis

Riga Technical University – development of a genetic resources database system

European Plant Genetic Resources Search Catalogue


Bioversity International