Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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PPP - future plant breeding

The future of plant breeding is developed through
Nordic cooperation

Promoting Plant Breeding for the Future presents results from unique
collaborations between several different plant breeding operators in the
Nordic and Baltic countries. Since 2012 has twelve companies, institutes
and universities worked together with pre-breeding for the Nordic climate
conditions. Pre-breeding is a wording used for the important processing
work carried out before the variety production begins.
The report describes four ongoing projects. The projects would not have
been possible without joint efforts from players with different skills and
with funding from the five Nordic departments as well as from partners.
Nordic apples: the project improves climatically well-adapted apples so
that they can better resist various pests. After cross-breeding to known
resistance sources an extensive detective work starts with modern marker
technique so the breeding lines that combine the most wanted properties
can be selected for further evaluation. The goal is to reduce the need for
chemical control, thus increasing the production of domestic apples.
Nordic barley varieties: in this project the existing gene pool is upgraded
through an advanced crossing design between wild and well adapted
material. The population that is formed is called MAGIC! An approach
leading to new combinations of barley genes and thus opportunities for
new varieties adapted to the northern latitudes.
Ryegrass with Nordic origins: here is exploited the fact that many grass
species has its origins in our latitudes. The collected material at NordGens
is used in combination with well-adapted market varieties. The variation of
traits as winter hardiness and resistance to disease is utilized and the goal
is to further improve the conditions for livestock throughout the Nordic
Drones for data collection: the project is technical and aims to develop the
time-wasting scoring in field that all breeders do. By photographing the
crop from above using drones and forward the information to the
computers for statistical processing, the data collection and analysis will
be lifted to a new level at the same time as the data will be more
objectively judged.
The world's plant-breeding industry has in recent years concentrated in far
fewer players. Their efforts are focused on the latitudes 37 to 53. The
Nordic and Baltic countries is between 55 and 69. No other countries on
the globe carry out cultivation along those latitudes. If we do not manage
a local plant breeding, we will eventually get fewer and fewer varieties of
various crops that are optimally adapted to our climate, our temperature
and day length. Our growers ' and animal producers ' competitiveness will
be reduced to finally not be profitable.

Annette Hägnefelt
Senior Scientist & PPP-Secretary
NordGen, Alnarp

Promoting Nordic Plant Breeding for the Future.pdf

Cover letter.pdf