Department of Breeding Research
Breeding plays a key role in achieving global food security in the context of an increasing global population. Scientists in the department of Breeding Research are aiming to generate insights and develop innovative approaches to allow the genetic diversity of crop plants to be better exploited as a way of achieving future breeding goals. The research spans the entire breeding process, from the induction of genetic variation, through the identification of parental material to the selection of superior genotypes and maintenance breeding.
The research activities of the department are organized into three areas:
Breeding progress achieved by recombining and fixing genetic variation is based on the organization, regulation and distribution of genetic information at the chromosomal level. Research in the area of Chromosome Biology focuses on revealing the regulation and evolution of cell division and the analysis of chromosomal domains. The knowledge gained will serve to develop efficient breeding tools.
Over the past few years both the quantity and the quality of research data have been greatly enhanced through access to omics technologies. Research activity in the area of Breeding Informatics is aimed at generating innovative ways of storing and analyzing such data to render them usable for breeding. Novel tools are developed to predict the performance of agriculturally relevant traits and to dissect their genetic architecture.
In the area of Genome Analysis the tools developed in the field of Breeding Informatics are used in order to study the genetic architecture of traits which display complex inheritance. Candidate genes for agriculturally relevant traits such as seed/grain size, yield and disease resistance are being identified, validated and subsequently characterized. The overall objective of the research is to increase the efficiency of both breeding and pre-breeding.