Unit of Genetics and Breeding
Activity goals and directions:
- Breeding of cultivars that are adapted to the agro-climatic conditions of the Baltic Sea region, breeding of cultivars of primary fruit crop culture (apples, raspberries, Chaenomeles japonica, black currants) that are highly resistant or immune to pests and diseases
- The coordination of the conservation, documentation and research on horticultural crop genetic resources, research on genetic resources using molecular markers, evaluation of genetic diversity.
- Genetic resource characterisation, genotyping, diversity analysis and use for cultivar diversification and breeding of horticultural crops.
- The development of scientific and theoretical basis for research on fruit crop heredity mechanisms and characterisation of breeding material by applying molecular genetics methods.
- The development of scientific and theoretical basis for introduction of molecular genetics methods in breeding, the development and application of economically significant characteristic identification methods in breeding.
- Gunārs Lācis, Ph.D., head of unit, leading researcher (genetics, plant genetic resources, plant molecular biology)
- Sarmīte Strautiņa, Dr. biol., leading researcher (raspberry, black currant breeding, research on genetic resources of berry crops)
- Laila Ikase, Dr. biol., leading researcher (apple breeding, apple and hybrid plum research on genetic resources)
- Edīte Kaufmane, Dr. biol., leading researcher (Japanese quince breeding, Japanese quince and plum research on genetic resources)
- Silvija Ruisa, Dr. agr., leading researcher (Japanese quince breeding and research on genetic resources)
- Toms Bartulsons, M. biol., research assistant, PhD student (plant molecular biology)
- Katrīna Kārkliņa, M. biol., research assistant (research on genetic resources of pears, Japanese quince, black currants)
- Ineta Baka, M. agr., laboratory technician (plant molecular biology)
- Ina Gocuļaka, laboratory technician (plant molecular biology)
- Project of the Latvia Council of Science No. lzp-2021/1-0134 "Development of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles based decision-making system for smart fruit growing" (2022 - 2024)
- Project of the Latvia Council of Science No. lzp-2019/1-0094 "Application of deep learning and datamining for the study of plant-pathogen interaction: the case of apple and pear scab" (2020 - 2022)
- Evaluation of apple and raspberry breeding material for the introduction of integrated agricultural crop growing technologies
- Environment-friendly cultivation of emerging commercial fruit crop – Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) and waste-free methods of its processing
- ECPGR project „Testing, Use and Alignment of genetic data to distinguish unique and characterized accessions in Prunus” (2017 – 2020)
- ERDF project No. 184.108.40.206/18/A/026 “Studies on Ribes plants, Cecidophyopsis mites and Blackcurrant Reversion virus for sustainable resistance breeding and cultivation of Ribes” (2019-2022)
- Project of Latvia Ministry of Agriculture “Conservation of Latvia fruit-crop genetic resources” (2006 – 2019)
- Project of Latvia Ministry of Agriculture „ Evaluation of apple and raspberry breeding material for implementation of integrated crop production technologies” (2014-2020)
- Institute of Biology of University of Latvia - quantitative genetics methods application
- Genetic Resource Centre of Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava" – molecular marker application, data analysis
- Latvian Orchardman Association (collaboration in the implementation of apple and raspberry breeding programme)