In the period from 22 August through 4 September 2011, the N.I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry carried out a joint Russian-German collecting mission on the territory of the North Caucasus. The collecting mission team included researchers from VIR (St.Petersburg, Russia), Maykop Experiment Station of VIR (Russia, Republic of Adygea), as well as scientists from the Institute for Breeding Research on Horticulture and Fruit Crops (Germany).
The route of the collecting mission passed along the Western slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range in the Belaya, Khokodz, Psebe and Kurdzhips valleys (Maykop district of the Republic of Adygea and Tuapse district of the Krasnodar Territory) and totaled 1500 km.
The collecting mission was mainly targeted at studying and collecting the population diversity of Malus orientalis species, as well as wild relatives of Prunus cerasifera, Fragaria, Pyrus, Rubus species and landraces of apple and plum trees originating from Cherkessia. As a result of the collecting mission, the total of 126 accessions of fruit and berry crops was delivered to VIR.