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Stress to success: the behavior of resilient vegetables under climate change

As climate change becomes more severe and prevalent worldwide, it is vital to observe and understand the responses of major crops when subjected to different abiotic (environmental) stresses. Two environmental conditions facing UK crops are drought and flooding. Coupled with high temperatures, these can be disastrous for yields and have knock-on effects on food quality, food prices, seed availability, and quality. Recently in 2020, a very wet winter followed by a very dry spring negatively impacted all UK crops.

Healthy plant growth and crop yields are determined by multiple factors: water, nutrients, temperature, soil structure and chemistry, and light. With the current climate changing faster than plants can adapt, this poses a fundamental problem for agriculture, and as a result crops are being challenged in many ways. In order to increase crop resilience to abiotic (environmental) and biotic (pathogen – pests and diseases) stresses, it is important to identify new crop varieties that have higher levels of resilience to either one or many of these temporary stresses over their lifetime.

To do this, the underlying genes that control these desirable resilience traits need to be identified. Plant scientists can do this by developing experiments called phenotyping assays, which screen a wide variety of plants for desirable traits (phenotypes) that are then matched up to specific genes. This is an extremely useful tool not only to identify and match genes to specific characteristics (phenotypes), but also to identify any genes that may have been lost from current commercial crop varieties that have been selectively bred to perform well under optimal conditions, where stresses are kept at bay by irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizer use.

One approach has been funded by Defra through the Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN). VeGIN has access to the Vegetable Genetic Resources Unit (GRU) at the Warwick Crop Centre, where thousands of varieties of different crop species are conserved, documented, and researched. VeGIN populations not only include modern cultivars, but also wild parent relatives and heritage varieties of the crops we eat today, collected from around the world. These plant varieties represent potential sources of new genetic diversity, which can then be used by breeders to establish crops with higher tolerance against biotic (pathogen) and abiotic (environmental) challenges.

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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