The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Welcome to the 2nd International Berry Fruit Symposium: Interactions! Local and Global Berry Research and Innovation

Sponsored by the ISHS Section Vine & Berry Fruits

Berry research and the berry industry are becoming increasingly complex. Innumerable interactions play out across the planet as the climate changes, as trade and production become increasingly globalized, as we move genotypes to new or different environment or production systems, or as we try to understand how berry consumption affects our health and well being. This Symposium will be held in Brisbane during the IHC2014 Congress (17-22 August 2014).

Oral and poster presentations are invited on the following four themes, with the subject matter of each theme amplified by a range of questions:

  • Interactions! Phenotypes and genotypes, genomicists and plant breeders
    Results from berry genomics research are coming out of numerous projects worldwide; a major focus of some of these projects is the interaction between plant breeders and genomicists. How will this work impact us and are breeders and genomicists finally getting on the same page?
  • Berries: Damn healthy even if they aren’t antioxidants!
    Exciting clinical trials are drawing to a conclusion that point to the impact berries can have on human health as they impact cardiovascular, neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory, vascular reactivity. However, there is a plethora of research on antioxidants that is disconcerting. A review of the research that led us into the discussion of antioxidants and berries and then out of this antioxidant focus is critical. What are some of the major mechanisms of beneficial action of berry flavonoids, in addition to ‘qualified’ in vivo antioxidant effects? Is there a reliable in vitro qualified antioxidant method? Or why these are limiting? How do we link fruit composition and nutritional quality? Human clinical evidence is the key to the future for berries in the health arena- how can we foster human trials? What can you do as a horticultural researcher if clinical research collaboration is not available?
  • Sustainability: Not just a buzzword for grant proposals!
    What is sustainability and how do we reduce inputs and costs: water, pesticides, nutrients, and labor as well as reduce waste, including losses due to pest and disease? How do we increase nutrient and water use efficiency while still maintaining quality? Do resilient cultivars play a role in sustainability?
  • Changing production practices/cultivars in response to challenging environments
    Climate change is becoming accepted by the public (even in the US!). How will climate change impact berry production? As berry production is globalized what have we learned in pathology, breeding, and production research about moving production into new climatic regions? What are the needs/challenges for milder, typically southern, climates for commercial producers and likewise for harsher, typically northern, climates?


Dr Chad E. Finn is Research Geneticist, Courtesy & Small Fruit Breeder at the USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit in Corvallis, Oregon. His research program includes developing strawberry, blackberry, red and black raspberry and blueberry cultivars for the commercial small fruit industry, expanding the germplasm available to plant breeders by collecting wild species of Rubus, Vaccinium and Fragaria and identifying and evaluating potential new small fruit crops.

Dr Bruno Mezzetti is Professor in Fruit Crop Breeding and Biotechnology, and Director of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental and Crop Science at Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy.

Keynote Speakers

Topic Area I: Interactions! Phenotypes and genotypes, genomicists and plant breeders

Where will we be in 10 years as we merge breeding and genomics?
Asaph Aharoni, Department of Plant Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Where we are now as we merge genomics into plant breeding and what are our limitations?
James J. Luby, University of Minnesota, USA

Topic Area 2: Berries: Damn healthy even if they aren’t antioxidants!

Speakers to be confirmed

Topic Area 3: Sustainability: Not just a buzzword for grant proposals!

How are plant diseases and the tools we have to combat them changing globally and how can we ensure the sustainability of these tools?
Guido Schnabel, Clemson University, USA

SWD (Spotted Wing Drosophila): The story of an invasive pest, the abandonment of IPM to control it, and how we are going to work with its management in the future.
Vaughn Walton, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, USA

Breeding for resilient cultivars
Vance Whitaker/Jim Olmstead, University of Florida, USA (A tag team presentation that discusses breeding for heat tolerance and low chilling in blueberry and strawberry)

Topic Area 4: Changing production practices/cultivars in response to challenging environments

Challenges of moving crops to nontraditional production areas
Rick Harrison, Driscoll Strawberry Associates

Roundtable. A panel of horticulturists and plant breeders will give each give a 5 minute presentation on something they have worked on in berries to respond to a challenging environment.
Bruno Mezzetti, Marche Polytechnic University, breeder (moderator)
Bernadine Strik, Oregon State University, horticulturist (moderator)
Approx. 8 speakers will make up this panel

Scientific Committee

  • Chad Finn (USA)
  • Bruno Mezzetti (Italy)
  • Bernadine Strik, Chair ISHS Section Vine and Berry Fruits (USA)
  • Adam Dale (Canada)
  • Anita Sonsteby (Norway)
  • Beatrice Denoyes-Rothan (France)
  • Branica Tanovic (Serbia)
  • Detlef Ulrich (Germany)
  • Kevin Folta (USA)
  • Ioannas Tzanetakis (USA)
  • Jessica Scalzo (Australia)
  • Jorge Retamales (Chile)
  • Jungmin Lee (USA)
  • Mohamed Emam Ragab (Egypt)
  • Paivi Parikka (Finland)
  • Pedro Oliviera (Portugal)
  • Rex Brennan (UK)
  • Stan Pluta (Poland)
  • Wilhelmina Kalt (Canada)
  • Yuntao Zhang (China)