LANGLEY, BC, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Bevo Agro Inc. (TSX-V:BVO) and The University of British Columbia (UBC) have signed a collaborative research agreement, to develop a new cultivar of Asimina triloba (commonly known as the Pawpaw), North America's largest native fruit. The aim is to establish a patentable cultivar, that can be more readily commercialized than currently available varieties.
The Pawpaw is a unique tree fruit native to the Eastern and Mid-Western U.S. and the Carolinian Forests of Southern Ontario. It produces a highly aromatic, sweet, tropical-like fruit about the size and shape of a mango. Although it is a hardy indigenous Canadian fruit, it is almost unknown to Canadian consumers, and indeed to the larger North American public. This results from certain genetic traits that limit its' economic viability, including a short shelf life, an abundance of large inedible seeds, and low fruit yields. The objective of the 48 month collaborative research program between Bevo and plant geneticists at UBC, is to create a new cultivar in part by using relatively new genetic tools, (but not genetic engineering), and that if successful, will result in a new Pawpaw variety with enhanced economic and commercial prospects, that Bevo would then seek to propagate.
The four year investigative research project will be funded in part, by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) which has recently approved a UBC - Bevo co-sponsored grant amounting to $200,000 after an examination and review of the research proposal by a panel of industry and scientific professionals. Bevo, as the industrial sponsor, will contribute an additional $125,000 in cash and $100,000 in in-kind services. If successful, at the conclusion of the R&D program, the new cultivar will be grown and tested in field trials to better assess its commercial potential. These field trials will be carried out concurrently in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, and the Niagara Fruit Belt in Ontario, both of which have a suitable climate to support Pawpaw cultivation.
Bevo Agro is North America's leading supplier of propagated agricultural plants, growing and distributing vegetable, flower, berry and other plant seedlings to North America's growers. Bevo propagates quality seedlings and plants for wholesale vegetable greenhouse growers, field growers and nursery operators from its 40 acres of greenhouse and related production infrastructure.
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For further information:
Jack Benne, President
Bevo Agro Inc.
Phone: (604) 888-0420
Fax: (604) 888-8048
Email: [email protected]