A large part of the spinach collection has been screened for a variety of morphological characters by means of field trials, during which also the identity of the accessions is checked with the help of crop experts. The collection has also been used for the screening of quality traits, including nitrate content and resistance to diseases, such as Albugo occidentalis (spinach white rust), Fusarium oxysporum and Peronospora farinosa (spinach downy mildew). Phenotypic data are integrated in the on-line search and order facility of CGN and are made available in downloadable files via CGN’s website.
The majority of data on quality traits are collected in close cooperation with 9 breeding companies affiliated to the Dutch association for the plant reproduction material sector (Plantum NL). Main focus of this collaborative screening program includes resistance against spinach downy mildew, which has so far resulted in over 12,000 observations. The collection is currently screened for resistance against P. farinosa Pfs15, one of the more recent races of spinach downy mildew.