The use of disease-resistant cultivars is a sustainable approach to reducing the use of plant-protection products in agriculture – a use which is increasingly called into question for environmental, political, social and market-based reasons.
The aim of plant breeding is to make such cultivars available. Their breeding, however, requires a long and complicated selection process. Modern breeding and selection technologies enable improved efficiency.
The Breeding Research Group conducts research to solve the challenges of plant breeding. We provide breeders with the basics, such as e.g. the identification of (new) sources of resistance, information on the occurrence of virulent strains, resistance mapping, the development of molecular markers for marker-assisted selection, and the understanding of resistance mechanisms.
New breeding technologies are developing at a breakneck pace. Varieties that are already established on the market could be improved efficiently by the application of these technologies, without altering their valued characteristics. The boundaries between the products of these new breeding methods and conventionally bred plants are growing increasingly fuzzy. We test the opportunities and environmental risks posed by the prototypes of these new breeding technologies in the laboratory, greenhouse and field – in the latter case, on the so-called Protected Site.
International initiative for the monitoring of apple scab virulences.www.vinquest.ch