Jamie Petchell (left) with Bartek Danek

Jamie Petchell (left) with Bartek Danek

Global Plant Genetics (GPG) has signed a licensing agreement with Polish Rubus breeding programme, Niwa, for two new primocane blackberry varieties. The deal means GPG will represent the Maryna and Juhas cultivars in a range of international territories.

Bartek Danek, director of Niwa, commented, “It has been important for our blackberry breeding efforts to develop primocane varieties. The global blackberry industry has been growing steadily for a number of years now and it is crucial that improved cultivars are released to help with this growth and to accelerate it even further.

“We are pleased to complete this agreement with GPG and we look forward to seeing the Maryna and Juhas varieties growing across the world in the next few years.”

Agnieszka Orzel, breeder at Niwa, has been working on primocane blackberries for many years. She said it has always been important to her and the overall breeding programme that the programme’s first releases were of the best possible quality.

“In addition to the obligatory fruit yield and quality aspects, I have focused on high levels of self-fertility and thornlessness. As a result, I am confident that the Maryna and Juhas varieties can adapt very well to the important global blackberry growing regions,” she explained.

“Self-fertility is often forgotten in rubus breeding but it can have a huge impact on primocane yields in warmer climates. From our initial results, we see that Maryna is better adapted to double cropping and that Juhas is more suitable for single primocane harvesting.”

According to Jamie Petchell, co-owner and director of GPG, the global blackberry sector has almost doubled in size over the last 20 years. “Some would say that in spite of the general varietal offer,” he observed, noting that “there is now a great opportunity to speed this up”.

“The consistent supply of a high-quality berry product year-round will only contribute to a larger slice of the berry cake for blackberries over the next few years. In my opinion, Maryna and Juhas have every opportunity to play an important role in these developments and we’re excited to see them across the world in the coming seasons,” Petchell said.