Seed World

Top 3 Spinach Stories of 2022

Spinach is packed full of nutritious vitamins and offers immense health benefits to consumers — making it an important vegetable for a balanced diet. Check out three articles on the leafy greens by European Seed editor Marcel Bruins.

Popeye Was Right! Creating New Varieties in One of the Most Nutritious Vegetables

KWS Senior Spinach Breeder Johan Rijk. Photo: KWS

He was right, Popeye! He knew all along that spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables consumed worldwide with lots of health benefits. The crop is an excellent source of crucial minerals, vitamins, plant proteins, fibres and omega 3’s. Apart from this, scientific studies show that in humans, spinach is known to boost immune levels, aid in skin care, regulate blood pressure and lots more.

From Pesky Pests to NBT’s: A Close Look at Spinach Breeding

Because spinach already has high amounts of vitamins and minerals, increasing those levels is not a focus for breeders of this crop, but organic variety development is key. The organic baby spinach sector is important in the U.S. market in particular, says Rinse Jaarsma, breeder spinach at Syngenta.

Creative Ideas Could Lead to Greater Genetic Diversity for Spinach

Bayer spinach crop. Photo: Bayer

Spinach has a relatively narrow genetic diversity, according to Dew Kumari Sharma, spinach breeder at Vilmorin-Mikado. Almost all breeders hunt for new sources of resistance from wild germplasm/genebank materials, making it a level ‘playing field,’ says Sharma.

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