In the Arctic began to grow melons and watermelons

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Testing gourds takes place in unheated greenhouses.

Scientists at the Vavilov All-Russian Plant Genetic Resources Institute (VIR) planted melons at the experimental polar station in Apatity (Murmansk Region), director of the institute Elena Khlestkina said.

“At present, experiments are being conducted on the Kola Peninsula, where our experimental polar station is located, to grow melons, watermelons and other melons. This year they will test varieties bred in the Krasnodar Territory for cultivation in arctic conditions. These are special varieties that are characterized by early maturity and compact plant shape,” – Elena Khlestkina.

Khlestkina noted that breeding using DNA markers is used to breed these varieties. Scientists are faced with the task of comparing newly bred varieties with ordinary varieties, finding their differences at the genome level and developing methods for diagnosing species for further breeding.

In turn, the director of the Polar Experimental Station, Irina Mikhailova, said that breeders have already adapted over 50 varieties of potatoes, berry (currants, gooseberries, etc.), fruit (apple trees) and fodder crops (oats, rye) to grow in the Arctic. Greenhouses grow cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, salads, turnips, beets and other crops.

In addition to experiments with the cultivation of melons and watermelons, the station is working on planting fruit apples and cherries.

The polar experimental station was founded by botanist Nikolai Vavilov in 1923. The activities of scientists laid the foundation for agriculture on the Kola Peninsula. Over the years the station has existed, many plant varieties adapted to the conditions of the Arctic have been bred.

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