Good breeding takes time. The University of Minnesota has been breeding cold-hardy, disease resistant plants for over 125 years. In that time, over 400 varieties have been released including apples, grapes, trees, flowers, and grasses. Today, University plant scientists and breeders are able to combine traditional breeding techniques with cutting-edge technology allowing them to use data and genomics not available to researchers in the past. Below, we have highlighted several current research projects and new varieties developed by U of M plant breeders.
The University of Minnesota is known worldwide for its expertise in cold hardy variety research. For over a century, dedicated U of M researchers and fruit breeders have persevered in the development of hardy, high-quality apples that can thrive in harsh conditions of extremely cold winters and hot, dry summers.
The University of Minnesota formally initiated a breeding program for wine grapes in the mid-1980's. In 2000, we completed a state-of-the-art enology lab and research winery. Today, we're recognized as one of the top wine grape programs in the United States.
University horticultural scientists research ways to restore and preserve water quality through strategic plantings to restore wetlands, preserve lakeshore, and curb runoff through rainwater gardens. Researchers analyze the most beneficial plants for various conditions and provide information to the public on plant selection.