The Laboratory of Fruit Quality and Breeding of the University of Chile was created in 2005, and it is led by Rodrigo Infante. Laboratory professionals and technicians, together with pre and postgraduate students work together developing their research projects.
Research is developed in three areas: Fruit breeding area, which looks to generate new fruit varieties with excellent post-harvest potential and high sensorial quality; Fruit quality area, focused in the study of certain quality parameters through physiology and texture studies, and sensory quality too; and Genetic and genomics area, which support the other two areas. Currently, we work in nectarines/peaches, plums, walnuts and kiwifruits.
Our team has been a pioneer in the fruit breeding in Chile, generating to date six nectarine varieties, one peach, and one Asian plum that are commercially developed in Chile, and five of them had already been patented in the United States. The peach and nectarine breeding program has been carried out since 1998 in collaboration with the Chilean company Andes New Varieties Administration (ANA).
Since 2009 the kiwifruit breeding program collaborates with the University of Udine, Italy. This program is active and close to licensing new varieties. In addition, we have collaborations with other institutions in California, Europe and China pursuing plum and iner-specific Prunus breeding.
Recently, we have also started an interesting collaboration with several national and international entities aimed to develop new rootstocks for stone fruit and walnut adapted to climate change and soil borne diseases.