Our breeding research combines experience in conventional breeding with a knowledge of modern genomics approaches.

Plant & Food Research has a long history of successful breeding programmes, including the JAZZ™ brand apple, ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit and ‘Moonlight’ potato. New molecular biology techniques and technologies allow us to investigate how key traits are controlled at a genetic level. We use this information to inform our breeding programmes and to reduce the time taken for the development of new commercial cultivars significantly.

Our extensive germplasm collections contain thousands of genetically different examples of key crops. These collections represent a unique genetic resource for use in our breeding programmes. They also provide a wide source of genetic variability which can be investigated by our genomics researchers to identify the molecular controls of key commercial traits.

Our research sites are situated in the major growing regions of New Zealand and allow us to work closely with our industry partners. Our farm research network, which comprises more than 300 hectares of orchard and farmland, provides our researchers with the opportunity to evaluate potential new cultivars extensively under different climatic conditions before commencing larger-scale grower trials.