Honeyberry varieties such as Berry Blue, Blue, Belle, Cinderella, Svetlana, Polaris, etc. are all Russian varieties. Most were bred at the N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry in St. Petersburg but were renamed¹,² when they were introduced into the United States.
Bioversity International and the Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann in Luxembourg have been working in partnership with the Vavilov Research Institute – researching the genetic structure, health and nutritional properties of four key species (Lonicera, Rubus, Ribes and Sorbus) being conserved at Pavlovsk research station.
The N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) is the only research institution in Russia whose activities include plant genetics resources collection, conservation and study. Its collection represents plant diversity encompassing 320,000 accessions of 155 botanical families, 2,532 species of 425 genera. The Pavlovsk Station is one of the VIR’ s 12 experiment stations in different geographic zones of Russia.
Pavlovsk Station preserves in vivo a unique genetic diversity of fruit and berry plants, the largest in Northern Europe, including wild species, landraces and promising cultivars of domestic and foreign breeding, many of which are not maintained anywhere else. The genetic diversity preserved at the station is an unmatched source of donors and useful genes for domestic and worldwide breeding practice.
¹ Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars List 43, The American Pomological Society, 2006, pdf page 7, publication page 1107