INVITE: Innovations in variety testing

News publication date: 12 January 2023

INVITE is a five-year European project. The project started in 2020 with the aim to apply new innovations in Plant Breeders' Rights and value for cultivation or use testing (VCU). One of the roles of Naktuinbouw is the use and implementation of DNA databases and image analysis, or phenotyping.


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INVITE stands for INnovations in plant VarIety Testing in Europe. When new varieties are introduced, they often have new traits such as better resistance to biotic and abiotic stress conditions or can adapt better to sustainable crop production conditions. A large proportion of the budget is devoted to VCU testing in agricultural crop varieties, because this is where there is significant impact. This will provide the end user with greater insight into how a particular agricultural variety will perform under their own (environmental) conditions. This offers many benefits with large areas under cultivation.

Why is Naktuinbouw participating in the project?

We consider it vital that DUS and VCU testing is performed as reliably and efficiently as possible. This project contributes to that aim. We are focusing on representative crops that are important in the Dutch situation, especially potatoes, perennial ryegrass, wheat and tomatoes. In addition, data processing and data sharing are becoming increasingly important aspects.


Within the project nine workpackages have been defined. All the information generated by various packages creates a wealth of data. One of the roles of Naktuinbouw is structuring this data. The other themes we are contributing to are the use and implementation of DNA databases and image analysis, or phenotyping. 


The project is funded by the EU with a budget of € 7 miljon. The INVITE consortium comprises a total of 29 Partners, including 14 research institutions (including the Duth WUR), 10 examination offices (including Naktuinbouw) and postregistration organisations, and four industry partners.