For raspberries the main objective in breeding is to produce high yielding cultivars with very firm, easily picked fruits suited to machine harvesting, and with resistance to diseases and pests. Recently introduced cultivars have improved yield potential, but their greater vegetative vigour has given problems, especially at picking time. Particular attention is therefore given to plant habit. We are also studying some of the genetic factors which determine yield potential.
For blackberries the objective is to produce cultivars with spinefree growth habits, early ripening - achieved by early flowering and rapid fruit development - and good fruit quality, including smaller 'pips' (pyrenes).