The Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) conducts strawberry research in a range of scientific disciplines including breeding. Cultivars released include Melody, Rhapsody, and our latest release, Symphony. Molecular techniques have been developed to assist in the formulation of the hybridisation programmes through accurate determination of the genetic diversity and relatedness of germplasm.
Strawberry transformation systems have also been developed with improved non-genotype specific regeneration techniques. A range of transformations has been carried out including the insertion of genes for pest and disease resistance and modification of fruit quality. Pest resistance using the CpTi gene is the most advanced with glasshouse bioassays giving strong indications of resistance to strawberry vine weevil. The trialling of numerous lines has now proceeded to field assessment.
An improved technique for freezing strawberries has been developed which allows the thawed product to maintain structure. The technique involves diffusion of a natural plant product into the berries prior to freezing.