SFR Plant Varieties


Currently and in future, the Swiss agricultural sector and its downstream branches right up to the consumer are, and will be, reliant on varieties that are site-adapted, make highly efficient use of available resources, can handle more-extreme climatic conditions, and use minimal amounts of plant-protection products owing to their resistance to pathogens and pests. At the same time, the varieties should contribute to cost-efficient primary production and products should meet the most stringent quality requirements of the processing chains and consumers. Consequently, focused local breeding is crucial, particularly for crop species for which international breeding programmes do not meet these Swiss market requirements.

To achieve these objectives, efficient breeding based on innovative breeding research is necessary. Well-characterised genetic resources and cutting-edge breeding methods that also make use of the potentials of genome research and high-throughput phenotyping form the basis for this. In addition, variety research and testing providing farmers and the sector with objective decision-making foundations for the site-adapted use of the nationally and internationally available varieties are essential. New methods such as ‘digital phenotyping’, ‘genotyping’, ‘envirotyping’ and statistical modelling are used to this end. Ultimately, the steady evolution of seed and planting material quality assurance forms the basis for sustainable plant production. To support the social discourse on genetic engineering and new breeding methods with scientific foundations, prototypes based on these methods should be tested under field conditions on the Protected Site.

Projects of the SFR Plant Varieties

Project title Responsible
Quality Assurance for Seed of All Types of Cultivated and Wild Plants for the Seed Trade  Annette Büttner-Mainik 
Certification of Seed and Planting Material in Arable and Forage Production, as well as Certification and Nuclear Stock of Fruit Trees and Shrubs and Vitis  Thomas Hebeisen 
Potato and Sugar Beet - Variety Trials  Patrice de Werra 
Variety Testing and Trials with Grain- and Silage Maize and Maize Relatives Jürg Hiltbrunner
Promotion of Underrepresented Arable Crops in Switzerland Susanne Vogelgsang
Testing High-Quality, Productive and Robust New Pome and Stone Fruit Varieties for Environmentally Friendly, Innovative and Cost-Efficient Swiss Fruit Production   Samuel Cia
Wheat and Soybean Breeding and Preservation of Genetic Resources of Crop Plants for Sustainable Agriculture and a Healthy Diet Boulos Chalhoub 
Breeding High-Quality, High-Yielding and Robust Apple Varieties for Sustainable Cropping and Description and Use of Fruit Genetic Resources Simone Bühlmann-Schütz
Breeding of Forage Grasses and Forage Legumes for Location-Adapted, Sustainable Forage Production Michelle Nay
Developing Molecular Bases and Assessing New Technologies for Innovative Plant Breeding  Andrea Patocchi
Domestication, Breeding and Variety Testing of Berries and Medicinal Plants Xavier Simonnet
Breeding Apricot and Pear Varieties with Added Value in Terms of Quality, Agronomic Performance and Stress Tolerance for Competitive Fruit Produc-tion Danilo Christen
Clonal Selection, Breeding and Variety Testing, and Preservation of Biodi-versity for Sustainable, Low-Input Viticulture. Distribution of Bred Varieties through Swiss Certification Jean-Laurent Spring
Methods for Assessing Field Crop Varieties and Species (Met_VGC) Juan Herrera
Variety Research on Oilseed, Protein and Grain Crops for Productive, Resilient Varieties Based on Market Requirements Lilia Levy


Research Peer

Further Information