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Researchers want to make asparagus resistant to the widespread virus


German asparagus is said to be saved from the virus

Most Germans love asparagus. The noble vegetables are not only delicious, but also very healthy. However, studies have shown that the popular vegetables in all growing regions in Germany are infected with a virus. Researchers now want to help breeders grow resistant asparagus varieties.

Most Germans love asparagus

The asparagus season in Germany began weeks ago. Noble vegetables are extremely popular with German citizens. It is not only delicious, but also healthy. The white and green asparagus spears score among other things with their high vitamin C content. They are also low in calories and stimulate the metabolism. Unfortunately, the local stick vegetables are in danger. According to experts, asparagus is infected with a virus in all German growing regions. Researchers now want to make the vegetables resistant to them.

Good for digestion

There are several reasons why the super vegetable is so healthy: Asparagus is attributed, among other things, to a positive effect on the nervous system, cell growth (skin, hair) and digestion.

The vegetable also contains a large number of valuable vitamins (A, C, B1, B2 and E) as well as minerals and trace elements (iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc).

For example, health experts recommend the delicious vegetables for constipation, biliary and liver problems, diabetes or problems with the bladder.

It would be a shame if the delicious sticks were no longer available. But the domestic asparagus is under threat.

Make asparagus plants resistant to viruses

As the dpa news agency reports, scientists at the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) in Quedlinburg want to make asparagus plants resistant to a virus that takes their strength away.

The breeding researcher Thomas Nothnagel therefore stated that nationwide monitoring in Germany had shown that asparagus from all growing regions was infected.

The invisible virus is transmitted by aphids, but also when piercing asparagus.

According to the information, the root growth of the plants is reduced. In addition, the spectrum of ingredients changes and the bars become thinner.

According to the biologist, the yields also decrease.

Many years will pass before the plants grow here

The researchers now want to cross resistant wild asparagus from southern Europe and South Africa with the culture asparagus in order to make it also insensitive to the virus.

"We hope to get the first prototype of a virus-resistant asparagus breeding line this year," said Nothnagel, according to dpa.

Then the experts at the JKI want to pass on their scientific results to professional breeders who bring the resistant plants to the market as new varieties.

According to Nothnagel, approval from the Federal Plant Variety Office is required beforehand.

He believes that it could take at least six to seven years before the hardy plants grow in the fields.

Transfer resistance to asparagus

As stated in the agency announcement, the JKI, as the Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants, does lengthy and complicated research and makes the results available to practitioners.

According to Nothnagel, the researchers started the project on resistant asparagus around ten years ago.

The preliminary work was initially about collecting wild asparagus collections and testing them for interesting breeding characteristics. Subsequently, possibilities were sought to transfer the resistance to the asparagus.

The scientists have been involved in the crossing program for around five years.

With the new asparagus breeding line, breeding researcher Nothnagel is hoping for further successes, for example in the fight against fungi, which affect asparagus and destroy its roots. (ad)

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