Research Projects SRF 3

High-Quality Domestic Seed for Arable and Forage Production

The implementation of the Ordinance on Seed Legislation helps to ensure that seed of impeccable quality from varieties suitable for arable and forage production is made available to the Swiss agricultural sector. Healthy seed with a high germination rate ensures value-added performance, from breeding to the end-consumer. These activities are carried out in partnership with the seed sector

High-Quality Seed for the Trade in All Types of Crops and Wild Plants

The provision of high-quality seed in the basis of progress in plant breeding. The accredited laboratory of the Seed Quality Research Group issues national and international certificates for the seed trade. Research priorities for the refinement of seed-quality testing methodologies are developed in cooperation with partners from the seed-breeding and -production, food-safety and organic-farming sectors.

Evaluating Field-Crop Varieties by means of Digital Tools

Evaluating Field-Crop Varieties by means of Digital Tools

Variety studies aim to identify the best grain varieties (in terms of quality, disease resistance, productivity, etc.) to allow us to supply practical recommendations to farmers and to adapt the regulations on seeds and plants. Today, digital and molecular tools are available for phenotyping and genotyping, as well as for understanding the response of the different varieties to the environment. This project aims to incorporate these technologies into the arsenal of tools used in variety research.

Amélioration de la qualité des plants de pomme de terre

Improving the Quality of Seed Potatoes

Potatoes are susceptible to numerous diseases – mainly, viruses and bacteria transmitted from one year to the next via the plant (seed tubers). In order to guarantee the continuity of this crop, Agroscope cooperates with the seed sector to certify seed potatoes and develops strategies for controlling diseases which adversely affect their quality.

Varietal Research and Production Techniques  for Straw Cereals

Varietal Research and Production Techniques for Straw Cereals

Whether they examine wheat, spelt, barley, rye, oats or triticale, varietal studies aim to identify the varieties that are adapted to Swiss soil conditions and climatic vicissitudes, as well as being disease-resistant and able to satisfy numerous market quality criteria. Supplementary trials simulating environmental influences (soil type and solar radiation) as well as different agronomic approaches (fertiliser application, sowing date) allow us to supply more-precise recommendations to producers.


Varieties and Cultivation Techniques for Maize and Similar Crops

From the wide range of international maize varieties on offer, Agroscope determines those which, from an environmental, economic and quality perspective, are most suitable for use in integrated cultivation systems under Swiss growing conditions. The selection is undertaken on the basis of surveys in the field, as well as quality testing of the harvested crop. The List of Recommended Maize Varieties is updated annually based on these results. Because of changing environmental conditions, Agroscope also investigates the suitability for cultivation in Switzerland of other similar crops to maize.

Variety Testing of Pome and Stone Fruits

Variety testing at Agroscope involves the assessment of new varieties from all over the world. The aim is to test the suitability for cultivation, productivity and marketability of these varieties in order to identify those with significant value-added. The unbiased and comprehensive testing of new varieties is of key importance for the Swiss fruit sector, and serves as a crucial decision-making tool for production and trade.

Wheat and Soy Improvement and Genetic Resources

Wheat and Soy Improvement and Genetic Resources

Wheat and soy variety improvement aims to obtain productive varieties that are adapted to Swiss pedoclimatic conditions, stress- and disease-resistant, and capable of meeting market quality criteria. Research is based on the available genetic diversity, which is preserved in Agroscope’s national gene bank, identified in the scientific literature, or obtained via international exchanges. Numerous tests in the laboratory and field then enable the development of improved varieties.

Pflanzenzuechtung Obst Apfel Bluete

Apple Breeding and Fruit Genetic Resources

The aim of apple breeding is high-quality, high-yielding and disease-resistant apple varieties that are in line with market requirements. Breeding researchers use the latest selection methods, and are nationally and internationally networked. Increasingly useful impetuses for breeding work come from the description of fruit genetic resources. Varieties are developed for the Swiss and international market, as well as for specific needs, such as the organic fruit-production sector. In addition, new varieties with appropriate tree and fruit traits are tested for use as standard fruit trees.


Breeding of Forage Grasses and Clover Species for Sustainable Forage Production, Especially in Organic Farming

Agroscope breeds high-quality, disease-resistant perennial forage grasses and clover species. In addition, it develops varieties that are also adapted to future (soil, climate and management) conditions. The aim is to help ensure that milk and beef are produced from meadow forage in a ruminant-friendly manner.

Zuechtungsforschung Marssonina

Principles and Molecular Methods for Plant Breeding

The use of disease-resistant varieties is a sustainable approach for reducing the use of plant-protection products in agriculture. Agroscope provides breeders with the basic requirements of efficient resistance breeding. We also investigate the opportunities and environmental risks posed by the prototypes from the new breeding technologies, testing them in the laboratory and greenhouse, as well as in the field on the so-called ‘Protected Site’.


Breeding Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for Organic Cultivation in the Mountain Region

Located primarily in the mountain region, the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants sector in Switzerland focuses on organic growing. The domestication and breeding of the plants enables us to increase the quality, profitability and sustainability of the crops. Nowadays, 10 to 12 years of research are needed to obtain a new variety. The aim of the project is to reduce this period of time by incorporating new techniques that utilise genetic and phytochemical markers.

Developing Apricot and Pear Varieties

Developing Apricot and Pear Varieties

The aim of the project is to create new, more efficient apricot and pear varieties that are disease-resistant, productive, adapted to climate conditions and climate change, and responsive to market requirements. To achieve this, both conventional (i.e. in orchards) and molecular (marker-assisted) selection methods and new genomic approaches will be utilised in order to improve the efficacy and rapidity of the breeding process.étale-vigne

Varietal Selection and Development for Sustainable Viticulture

Agroscope safeguards the biodiversity of traditional and indigenous Swiss grape varieties, selects the most promising clones for viticulture, and ensures the distribution of the plants through the certification channel. The creation of new high-quality varieties that are resistant to vine diseases contributes to a drastic reduction in the use of plant-protection products in viticulture.

In-Vitro Conservation and Varietal Identification

In Vitro Nuclear Stock and Varietal Identification

Agroscope’s in vitro nuclear-stock collection maintains over 350 varieties of ancient and modern plants (kitchen-garden, viticultural, arboricultural, medicinal, forest, etc.). The aim of the project is to ensure the traceability and phytosanitary condition of the conserved plants by creating a database of molecular profiles. This will enable the authentication of varieties, the elimination of duplicates, and the correction of designations.

Nuklearstock Obst und Wein

Recognition and Certification of Fruit Trees, Bushes and Vines with the Production and Provision of Preliminary-Stage Budwood in the Nuclear-Stock Collection

The nuclear-stock collections for fruit trees and bushes in Wädenswil and grapevines in Changins serve to provide and produce healthy, variety-tested, recognised and certified fruit- and vine multiplication material. This provides the basis for successful IP and organic fruit and wine production in Switzerland. Recognition/certification guarantees the phytosanitary status of the juvenile plants, especially the freedom from all known viral diseases and organisms that damage quality.