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Yoichi Orchard: About 60 varieties of fruit crops, used for practical training and cutting-edge research

Hokkaido University has Experiment Farms in Sapporo and Yoichi Town. Yoichi Orchard, located in Yoichi Town, about 60 km from Sapporo, belongs to the Experiment Farms. The Orchard was established in 1912 for research and promotion of fruit cultivation. It is situated in a relatively warm area in Hokkaido, which is suitable for fruit crop cultivation.

In mid-September, students practice in the Yoichi Orchard, in the midst of the harvest season. Under the guidance of Professor Yoichiro Hoshino (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere) and Technical Staff Minoru Ikuta (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere), who manages the Orchard, students experience harvesting apples from trees and sorting fruits before shipping.

Yoichi Orchard grows about 60 varieties of fruit crops. They are used not only for practical training for students, but for cutting-edge research as well. Professor Hoshino has been promoting breeding using Hokkaido’s plant genetic resources, and the Orchard’s fruit trees are being used for this research. In particular, he is focusing on the haskap, which grows abundantly in Hokkaido, and is working to develop more delicious berries. He has been conducting various experiments, such as crossbreeding haskap with other berries, and is particularly focusing on research using a method called “polyploidy breeding,” in which the number of chromosomes are manipulated.


Source: global.hokudai.ac.jp


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