The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited

Country: New Zealand


The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (PFR). PFR is an internationally recognized research Institute with a focus on high value foods and crops for New Zealand industries. The institute covers a wide range of crops and foods including breeding and genomics, production, and bioprotection. PFR has over 900 employees. Our parallel program is well aligned with CHIC: “New breeding technologies for New Zealand’s high value plant industries” $1,955,000.00 pa, Start date Oct 2016- End date July 2021, Total funding $9,775,000

Summary of this project:

Many of New Zealand’s highest value crops suffer from a “handbrake feature”, a characteristic which limits their economic potential. Examples include very short storage after harvest, e.g. apricot, cherry and kiwiberry. A combination of long breeding cycles and limited genetic resources means improvements to these fruit crops are very limited. This programme will develop rapid next generation breeding tools for NZ’s tree crops, for high-value novel cultivars, seven times faster than currently possible. Novel traits, such as long storage and shelf-life, will be delivered through pinpoint alterations in the plant’s genome, without introducing foreign DNA. We will demonstrate the advantages of new technologies in an exemplar crop, kiwiberry.

Co-innovation with Māori growers in the horticultural and forestry sectors will enable us to align Māori development with state-of-the-art molecular genetics and to identify new ways of improving perennial crop breeding and plant-based industries in a way that is relevant to and appropriate for New Zealand society.

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