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Gowrie Swede: a new variety
Filed 19 Oct 04
Congratulations to the Scottish Crop Research
Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee for establishing a new variety of
Eight year old Rory Lawson of Birkhill, Dundee
visited the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) on Tuesday October
12th to collect a prize from Martin Titley, Forage Crop Marketing
Manager of Advanta Seeds UK Ltd.
Rory was the winner of SCRI's "Name the Swede"
competition held earlier this year with his winning entry "Gowrie".
Rory Lawson (8) chooses name for
new swede variety
Photograph by courtesy of SCRI
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Research at SCRI
SCRI has been breeding swedes since the 1920s
and its varieties command approximately 50% of the UK market. Gowrie
is a dual purpose swede suitable for both table use and as a fodder
crop and has improved disease resistance that will lead to a reduction
in chemical usage. Advanta Seeds UK Ltd, headquartered in Lincolnshire,
are part of the Advanta group, one of the largest seed breeding,
production and marketing organisations in the world.
Martin Titley of Advanta Seeds said
"We are delighted with the results of our collaborative
breeding programme with SCRI and expect Gowrie to be grown widely
throughout the UK and beyond."
Dr John Bradshaw of SCRI who bred this latest
"It is great that Advanta have chosen the name Gowrie to
reflect the local area where the swede was bred and trialled."
Gowrie came from a cross made in 1993 between
the SCRI cultivars Airlie and Invitation. It was bred by single
seed descent, a rapid method that allowed submission to official
National List trials eleven years later. Land-Care hopes to carry
a short article by Dr Bradshaw describing this technique.
Commercial benefit to SCRI from its research work
Plant Breeders rights are shared between SCRI
and a Commercial Company - in accordance with agreements with the
then Scottish Office since 1987, and which are continued with the
Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD).
Mylnefield Research Services (MRS) Ltd was established
in 1989 as the commercial arm of SCRI. The primary function of MRS
Ltd is to market products, intellectual property and the expertise
of both MRS Ltd and SCRI scientists. MRS Ltd acts as the gateway
to a variety of skills unique within the UK biological, agricultural
and horticultural research service. The company is situated at Invergowrie
Jonathan Snape of MRS Ltd said
"SCRI, through its commercial subsidiary Mylnefield Research
Services (MRS) Ltd, is paid by commercial companies to undertake
plant breeding and produce finished varieties, such as the swede
variety Gowrie. This builds on core work and germplasm collections
funded by SEERAD.
In addition, MRS obtains royalties on all sales of seed of SCRI-bred
Total royalty income has exceeded £200k p.a. for the last
Clearly SCRI has forged over the years an excellent
link between research and commercial benefit. Also it is heartening
to see the young being encouraged to take part in celebrating the
successful outcome of many years of research that have gone into
developing this new variety of swede. Perhaps Rory Lawson will become
on of the next generation's horticultural researchers.
However, there must be some concern over SEERAD's
proposed future strategy for funding agricultural, biological and
related research. Already research funding by SEERAD on agricultural
related research has been cut by 25 percent: that amount being redirected
to research aimed at "improving human health".
There must be further worries - as articulated
by Professor John Hillman, director of the SCRI - over SEERAD's
declared intention of only approving funding that meets with the
Scottish Executive's policies (1).
A further hazard to the continued
well being of SCRI is likely to come from the suggestion that is
being aired of amalgamating the various research organisations funded
by SEERAD into one.
Meanwhile SCRI is to be congratulated
on its continued success in facilitating improvements in both food
production and the environment - nationally and internationally.
1. Irvine, James
(2004). Review. Scotland's Land: RSE conference 30th September.
See SOCIAL/ECONOMIC/POLITICAL Homepage, filed 04 Oct 04,
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