Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS


CHERLA Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 15100
Gefördert unter: FP6-INCO
Land: Spain

Periodic Report Summary - CHERLA (Promotion of sustainable cherimoya production systems in Latin America trough the characterisation, conservation and use of local germplasm diversity)

Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) is a perennial fruit tree species of Andean origin of excellent organoleptic qualities, nutritious value and market potential. Despite the presence of an enormous wealth of local diversity, limited and often little coordinated activities to use this potential have been carried out in the Andean region. CHERLA (Promotion of sustainable cherimoya production systems in Latin America trough the characterisation, conservation and use of local germplasm diversity) aimed at the promotion of sustainable cultivation of cherimoya in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, based on the characterisation, conservation and use of local genetic resources combining the available European expertise (both at the scientific and at the productionlevels) with local ongoing activities. Innovative research activities (using molecular tools and geographic information systems) will provide new scientific insight into the existing cherimoya diversity gathering the necessary information to optimise current germplasm conservation activities. This will allow unlocking the present, but so far untapped, genetic potential of cherimoya and canalise the obtained results to tackle the essential constraints (pests, lack of adequate cultural practices and limited commercialisation) for optimal cherimoya cultivation for the end-users, the poor resource Andean farmers. Training of local scientists will fortify the scientific capacity in the region ensuring a long-term impact of the project. The CHERLA consortium was built based on existing expertise and experiences and comprises nine partners in six countries, including Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and one international organisation.

The project was structured into 10 work packages and each partner had its share of responsibility within each one. The partners were: CSIC, UGENT, UNIVIE BIOVERSITY, INIAP, INIEA, PROINPA, SENASA, NCI.

During the first year of the project, the partners involved in CHERLA have initiated the phenological and molecular characterisation of the genotypes conserved in the different cherimoya ex situ collections and an advanced draft of the first agromorphological descriptors for this species is currently being tested. Similarly, samples of domesticated, semidomesticated and wild genotypes have been collected in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and they are being analysed with a set of 20 polymorphic microsatellite loci (SSRs) developed during the first year of the project. The results obtained will allow the development of appropriate strategies for both in situ and ex situ conservation of cultivated, semicultivated and wild genotypes. Optimisation of current cultural techniques is taking place in different pilot orchards in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia addressing the main cropping limitations (such as the control of fruit flies, pollination, grafting or pruning) for each country and applying different local strategies through workshops, fairs and through direct participative interactions with the Andean farmers. During the two CHERLA meetings that have taken place so far in Spain and Ecuador, sampling protocols and diagnostic methodologies have been harmonised and the work to be carried out has been coordinated.

The first version of the CHERLA website (please see online) went online in December 2006 in Spanish and during 2007 the website will also be available in English and Quechua in order to increase the impact of the project on the local Andean communities. The CHERLA website includes both public and restricted access sections to allow internal discussion and information sharing among partners of the consortium.


Jose I HORMAZA, (Department Head)
Tel.: +34-952-552656
Fax: +34-952-552677
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