The Eggplant Pre-breeding Project

Utilization of crop wild relatives in eggplant pre-breeding for adaptation to climate change






SpainIvory CoastSri Lanka


The goal of the eggplant pre-breeding work is to broaden the genetic diversity available for eggplant breeding, focusing specifically on traits related to climate change adaptation. The use of the wild relatives of eggplant (Solanum melongena) in breeding has been very limited, in spite of the crop’s economic importance. This work will represent one of the first major applied eggplant breeding efforts using crop wild relatives.

The Project’s eggplant pre-breeding work is coordinated by a Spanish team from the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia in Spain along with partners from the University of Peradeniya and the Horticultural Crop Research and Development Institute in Sri Lanka and the Laboratory of Genetics of the Félix Houphouet Boigny University in the Ivory Coast, all of which are specialized in eggplant breeding. The eggplant pre-breeding work is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2016.

The objectives of the eggplant work will be achieved in two sub-programmes. First, in a short-to-medium term sub-programme, the project team will use already pre-bred materials (fifth backcross) to create introgression lines, hybrids and segregating generations through hybridization with local varieties from Southeast Asia and West Africa. Second, in a medium-to-long term programme, the team will obtain interspecific hybrids between wild species that have not been pre-bred and the same set of local varieties from Southeast Asia and Africa. Materials will be genotyped and evaluated in both the field and controlled conditions for traits related to climate change adaptation as well as other characteristics of interest. All materials produced by the project will be made available to users through the standard material transfer agreement (SMTA).

For more information, please visit the project website.

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