The genus of Lonicera – honeysucle belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family, it is well known as a plant grown for ornamental flowers. To the section of Caerulea Rehd. – honeysuckle, there are many species with edible fruits:

Lonicera pallassi Ldb., Lonicera  kamtschaticaLonicera emphyllocalyxLonicera edulis Turcz. ex Freyn, Lonicera altaica (Plekhanova, 1994). Lonicera caerulea – 2n=36 found in the Eurasian zone, the climate of the Arctic and Taiga. Apart from Russia, it is found on Hokkaido in Japan, North China, Kazakhstan, in Europe – in Scandinavia and in the Alps.

Honeysucle breeding started in the 50’s of the 20th century (Vavilov Instyt in Petersburg).

Breeding work has been carried out since 1964 in Bakczarski Center of Northern Pomology (FGUP Bakcharskoe), hence the varieties found on Polish plantations among: Vostorg, Jugana, Docz Velikana, Leningradzki Velikan.

The second important breeding program is conducted in Canada, initiated in 2006 at the University of Saskatchewan by Dr. Bob Bors. The most popular Canadian varieties tested on Polish plantations are: Aurora, Boreal Beauty, Boreal Blizzard, Boreal Beast.

The American’s breeding has been carried out in the state of Oregon since the 1990s, as prof. Maxim Thompson’s private breeding program.

In Poland, the selection works began in the 1990s, when honeysuckle seeds were imported from Russia. The precursor was Mrs. Zofia Łukaszewska and her husband who within several years selected several varieties: Wojtek, Jolanta, Zojka, Rebeka, Ruben, Tola, Iga, No. 44. Another Polish varieties were selected by nurserymen, also from the Russian seeds (Atut , Duet, Krystyna, Kasia). Among the Polish varieties, the commercial cultivation was introduced mainly by Wojtek variety, the fruits of which are intended for processing.
Currently, people sought the varieties that will work in Polish conditions, will produce high yields, and their fruit will be of high quality for both the fresh and processing market.
Niwa’s honeysucle breeding has been carried out since 2012

 

Breeding goals:

1) Machine harvesting efficiency – approx. 80-90% – easy shaking off of fruit; favorable shrub architecture: erect shoots, upright habit, low density, large oval-shaped fruit; 

2) Fertility and average weight of honeysuckle fruit: 4-5 kg ​​/ plant, 2.5 g 

3) Suitability for fresh market: large fruit, sweet taste, no bitterness, high firmness and post-harvest durability; 

4) Suitability for processing: no bitterness, 15-17 Brix extract; 

5) High pro-health value of fruit; 

6) Resistance to / reduced susceptibility to leaf, shoot and fruit diseases 

Every year, about 40 cross combinations are made, the production of about 10 thousand  seedlings and about 1% of selected duels. 

Methods: Cross-breeding with the use of flowering biology assessment in the selection of parental pairs. The standard methods for assessing plants and fruits are used.