Lead researcher: 
Ana Wünsch
120.000 €
Sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) is a fruit species with great relevance in our country. Sweet cherry has been grown traditionally in Spain and today is one of most cultivated temperate fruit species. Prunus avium is native in Europe and in Spain has been domesticated locally along time. As a result, Spain is a reservoir of genetic diversity of the species. As a consequence, local varieties have traits of interest for breeding. This research project unites personnel of Aragon and Extremadura, that are the main producing regions of sweet cherry, and is a continuation of earlier works. The objective of this project is studying traits of interest for sweet cherry breeding and production. This objective is approach by the use of local diversity as a source of variability. In this project this is specified in the study of two main aspects of sweet cherry production: self-incompatibility and fruit quality, specifically firmness and fruit colour. The project is thus divided in three objectives that are the three main areas of research. The study of self-compatilbility from local varieties (Objective 1), is the continuation of ongoing work and aims to identify candidate genes responsible for the trait by fine mapping and NGS. The study of sweet cherry firmness from the local ‘Jerte’ variety ‘Ambrunes’ that is very firm (Objective 2), aims to carry QTL analysis using segregating families to identify haplotypes associated to the trait for its selection in breeding. The study of fruit colour (Objetive 3) is also a continuation of ongoing work, will be carried out by the study of the genetics of the trait and the study of the development of colour during postharvest, with the aim of improving shelf life and functional quality of sweet cherry.
Project members: 
Alejandro Calle Calderón (CITA); Francisco Carlos Balas Torres (Centro Investigación La Orden-Valdesequera de Extremadura) Manuel Joaquín Serradillo Sánchez (CICYTEX de Extremadura); Takashi Akagi; Ryutaro Tao (Universidad Kyoto)...