In California, the Cal Poly Strawberry Center, along with a team of scientists in California and Florida, has been awarded a $4.5 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve the disease resistance and sustainable production of strawberries throughout the nation.
The money will support a team of scientists at Cal Poly, UC, Davis, UC, Riverside, UC, Santa Cruz, UC Agricultural and Natural Resources, and University of Florida to identify genetic markers that are naturally present in some strawberry plants. The work will help plant breeders use plants with natural disease resistance to develop new strawberry varieties that can tolerate disease in the field.
The Cal Poly Strawberry Center will receive about $480,000 of the grant funding for research. The center will conduct field and laboratory research aimed at accelerating the development of disease-resistant strawberry cultivars and pathogen detection techniques.