National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) Uruguay
Strawberry Breeding Program
The INIA Uruguay strawberry breeding program was founded in 1992 with the goal to develop short-day and day-neutral strawberry varieties adapted to the environmental conditions of Uruguay. Researchers aimed at solving two significant barriers:
- the substantial decrease in productivity of the existing strawberry varieties,
- the number of strawberry growers fined in the 1990s due to the high plant mortality caused by diseases of stem and root fungi, mainly Colletotrichum sp. and Phytophthora cactorum.
The new and improved variety genetics have increased early productivity and fruit quality tremendously in Uruguay. To be selected, a variety must fulfill the following criteria:
- Superior fruit quality
- Strong disease tolerance
- Low susceptibility to pests currently present in Uruguay
- Stable productivity over time
Since 2001, INIA Uruguay has released 9 strawberry varieties that meet these characteristics. These cultivars have proven to be widely adaptable to different production systems and have been well adopted by the national fruit producers. Currently the INIA Uruguay strawberry varieties share approximately 50% of the national market.
(Ing. Agr. Dr. Esteban Vicente; Ing. Agr. Dr. Gustavo Giménez. Extracted from the INIA Catalog of Horticultural Crops).