Coloured kiwifruit just the start
5:00AM Wednesday July 30, 2008
By Owen Hembry

Kiwifruit lovers will be like kids in a chinese gooseberry store as DNA research is released for breeding fruit with new colours, flavours and health properties.

Researchers at HortResearch and listed biotech company Genesis Research and Development yesterday publicly released the world's biggest collection of kiwifruit DNA sequences.

The collection of more than 130,000 gene sequences would cover characteristics including flavour, colour, shape, vitamin content, ripening and storage life.

Acting chief executive Bruce Campbell said HortResearch was looking for the concept of super-fruits.

"Where it's not just one thing that we're looking to improve but a whole set of things which is to do with the appearance, that taste, the colour, the convenience and the health attributes as well, and roll all those into new varieties that really do get that price premium."

The work to identify the gene sequences - which took eight years and cost about $30 million - plus research into its use in breeding programmes proved New Zealand's world leadership in kiwifruit science, he said.

More here.