Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Scientist Russell Lowe wins Plant Raiser's Award

Scientist Russell Lowe wins Plant Raiser's Award for developing popular Zespri™ SunGold™ Kiwifruit

Russell Lowe, respected kiwifruit breeder and scientist at Plant & Food Research, has received the 2020 Plant Raiser's Award by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture for the breeding and selection of 'Zesy002'. The cultivar beloved by consumers around the world is marketed as Zespri™ SunGold™ Kiwifruit, and it has arguably saved the New Zealand kiwifruit industry from a plant disease epidemic almost 10 years ago.

Lowe says he is pleased be to be recognised by RNZIH and is grateful for the support by his colleagues at Plant & Food Research over the years.

“This breeding success has been very much a team effort by breeders, our Operations Team, Research Orchard Network Team and subsequent evaluation systems. It is interesting to consider how a single seedling plant produced by conventional breeding methods has developed into a multi-billion-dollar Zespri product, supporting New Zealand’s horticulture industry.”

The yellow-fleshed kiwifruit was a result of Lowe’s work. Before ‘Zesy002’, the popular gold cultivar at the time, 'Hort16A', marketed as Zespri™ Gold Kiwifruit, became susceptible to the devastating Psa (Pseudomonas syringae pv. Actinidiae) outbreak in New Zealand. Thousands of hectares of ‘Hort16A’ kiwifruit orchards have been destroyed since the discovery of Psa in 2010.

‘Zesy002’ was first selected for commercialisation in the Plant & Food Research-Zespri breeding programme in 2002 and commercially released in 2010. It was eventually chosen as a replacement for Hort16A for its higher tolerance to Psa and has since become one of the greatest success stories in New Zealand’s primary industries given the huge consumer demand and the strong returns it generates for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and its partners.

The transition from 'Hort16A' to 'Zesy002' was achieved remarkably quickly. By 2020, over 5,000 ha of 'Zesy002' orchards have been established and produced a record 74 million trays of kiwifruit. Zespri™ SunGold™ kiwifruit is now enjoyed in over 50 countries around the world and more SunGold™ Kiwifruit than Green was supplied to consumers for the first time last season.

The Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Plant Raiser's Award recognises individuals or organisations that have raised a cultivar considered to be sufficiently meritorious in New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


What Lies Beneath: Is The Housing Market Turning?
Rising interest rates, combined with further tightening of credit availability appear to be dampening the enthusiasm of investors and first home buyers. While house values continue to rise, what lies beneath QV's latest figures is growing evidence that price pressure has shifted... More>>

R&NTU: KiwiRail strike notices withdrawn following new offer

Strike notices on KiwiRail have been withdrawn. Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says following negotiations between the RMTU and KiwiRail, a new offer from KiwiRail will be taken back to union members for ratification... More>>

Banking: Stress Tests Show Strengthening Bank Resilience

The latest stress tests carried out by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua show strengthening resilience in the banking sector and the benefits of continuing to build capital buffers... More>>

Reserve Bank: Deputy Governor Reflects On Time At RBNZ
Central bankers must continue to look forward to guard against the unpredictable, Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand says in a speech published today. Mr Bascand joined the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua in 2013 during the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis... More>>

Xero: Data Reveals ICT Expenditure Key To Small Business Sales Growth
Xero, the global small business platform, today released a new report which shows New Zealand small business ICT expenditure has increased 25 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels - more than the UK (20%) and Australia... More>>

Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range And Revises Earnings Guidance At First Quarter Update

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range, reported a solid start to the 2022 financial year and revised its earnings guidance... More>>

Canterbury Museum: New Research - Bald Haast's Eagle Feasted On Moa Guts

New Zealand’s extinct Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), the largest known eagle, gulped down viscera like a vulture and may even have been bald, new research suggests... More>>