Watermelons and melons will be planted in the Arctic in 2020
Varieties of cucurbits such as watermelons and melons, adapted for the Arctic climate, will be planted in 2020 by Russian scientists at the experimental polar station. This was told TASS by Elena Khlestkina, Director of N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources.
The experiments on cultivation of melon crops are conducted on the station. Seeds, created by Kuban branch of N. I. Vavilov Institute will be used this year. “These are special varieties, notable for their rapid maturity and compact shape of the plant”, Elena Khlestkina said.
According to her, the cultivation experiments will be held in the unheated greenhouses of the station. At the same time, the geneticists of N. I. Vavilov Institute will compare newly bred and conventional varieties to understand the differences at the genome level and develop methods of species diagnostics for further breeding.
“It is important for us, that this area attracts students, post-graduates and even schoolchildren. Part of this work will be carried out in summer at the Sirius school for gifted children under the guidance of postgraduate students of N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources”, she has added.
The experiments will be carried out at the experimental station of the Institute, which was created in 1923 beyond the Arctic Circle, near the Kirovsk city. The station is a natural laboratory for studying plants in the Arctic conditions. Due to the absence of many harmful viral and fungal diseases, the world collection of potatoes is maintained at the station. Besides, the world variety of vegetables, berries, fodder and grain crops is actively studied there.