The 20 Most Innovative Plant Varieties of 2020: 16-20


At European Seed, we wanted to shine some light on all these new plant varieties and give you a taste of the innovations that are out there. But of course, we can’t show all 3,500 new varieties of 2020 here, so we asked the national seed associations in Europe, and many other peers in the European seed sector to send us their lists of which varieties in their eyes were the most innovative of last year.

Please note: Plant varieties appear in alphabetical order

NS Blackstar — Soybean
The Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops

‘NS Blackstar’ is a soybean variety with a black seedcoat, resulting from polyphenolic compounds or anthocyanins. In addition, the variety contains other polyphenols, e.g., derivatives of flavan-3-ol (twice as high compared to grapes or apples), isoflavone, quercetin, larycitrin, and isorhamnetin, indicating an extraordinary antioxidant capacity. In addition to their important role for the plants, polyphenols also have highly beneficial effects on human and animal health. Studies have confirmed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols (combating cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis) as well as an important role in the prevention of obesity and hyperglycaemia. Because of the higher content of polyphenols compared to other black soybean cultivars, and a nutritional quality identical to the other black and yellow soybean varieties, NS Blackstar belongs to the group of functional, value-added foods, with a great prospect in the food or pharmaceutical industry.

P8888 — Corn
Corteva Agriscience
‘P8888’ is an early-maturity silage corn hybrid which exhibits all attributes that characterize the new m3TM commercial line-up: pure dent grain texture, high degradable starch, top silage yield performance, yield stability, wide area of adaptation, excellent agronomics, stay green and high fibre digestibility. These characteristics contribute to increase dairy farmers’ value creation through a more flexible harvest time, higher milk production and better product quality. The m3TM corn silage concept is the result of an innovative product development strategy created by the European team of Corteva Agriscience and aimed at providing dairy farmers with the best digestible energy yield per hectare.
Redi — Broccoli
Bejo Zaden
The broccoli variety ‘Redi’ is a true sensation. It is a revolutionary concept, based on the variety Burgundy, and aimed at the consumer vegetable market. The variety combines healthy nutrition with an exceptional flavour in an original way. This purple sprouting broccoli, comprising tender stalks topped with a small floret, whose unique features bring colour and originality to any dish. It is a flavourful, healthy, and eye-catching broccoli in a sustainable packaging. Thanks to high levels of naturally produced glucosinolate compounds, Vitamin C and antioxidant activity, this variety is an extremely healthy vegetable. Its colour provides more antioxidant compounds than green broccoli, which consolidates and boosts its power as a functional food. Next to that, it is the first one-cut hybrid purple sprouting broccoli variety. The variety was bred by Bejo, in cooperation with Elsoms.

Synthia — Spring Turnip Rape
Boreal Plant Breeding

Spring turnip rape (Brassica rapa) has lower harvest rates than spring oilseed rape (B. napus), but it is a very valuable oil crop in the north of Europe with its shorter growing time demand. The variety ‘Synthia’ is the first synthetic spring turnip rape variety and benefits greatly from the heterosis effect. It has a 10% better yield than any of the conventional turnip rape varieties. It can also be distinguished from those through its oilseed rape type stiff and strong stem, that brings a greatly improved crop security for farming in the north of Europe.

Terapur — Carrot

The variety ‘Terapur’ is an innovative and agroecological plant solution to combat the nematode Heterodera carotae. Selected from more than 3,700 wild plants, this variety is not a consumable carrot but a trap crop which acts like a biocontrol solution. White in colour, resembling a type of wild carrot, it has a very large root network, and spreading waxy foliage. Endowed with resistance to the nematode Heterodera carotae, the planting of this variety makes it possible to significantly reduce the population of this pest in the soil. For carrot growers, this innovative plant solution is the first effective response to control this cyst nematode since the European Union banned dichloropropene in 2009.

Read about Innovative Varieties 1 – 5 here

Read about Innovative Varieties 6 – 10 here

Read about Innovative Varieties 11 – 15 here




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Marcel Bruins studied plant breeding and plant pathology at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and received a PhD for the research he did in Fusarium resistance in wheat. After that he worked for 10 years at plant breeding company Seminis Vegetables Seeds as manager Plant Variety Protection. In 2007 he became Secretary-General at the International Seed Federation (ISF) and guided the ISF into the modern era of communication, and greatly increased the service to its members. After seven successful years at ISF, he started as an independent consultant in the seed business. He led the Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) through a phase of transition and continued working as their Scientific Advisor. Besides being the Editorial Director of the ‘European Seed’ magazine, he has been helping profit and non-profit organizations in the seed and grain sector with their questions on the seed industry and their ever-increasing regulations, plant breeding, plant breeders’ rights, intellectual property, trade facilitation and international outreach.