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FiBL project

Title Improvement of population breeding of open-pollinated broccoli as a replacement for cell-fusion based CMS hybrids
Title Original Optimierung der Populationszüchtung von offenabblühendem Brokkoli als Ersatz für zellfusionsbasierte CMS Hybriden
Official Acronym Brokkoli Züchtung
Official project number Finanzhilfevertrag Nr. 627000646
FiBL project number 20059

Nowadays, the organic cultivation of cabbage vegetables is dominated by hybrids. To develop these hybrids, the mechanism of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is often used. CMS does not occur naturally in Brassica oleracea. Therefore CMS was introduced from radish (Raphanus sativus) through cell fusion. The organic movement rejects cell fusion because it enables the transfer of traits from one species to another and artificially isolated cells are technically manipulated. For this reason, many organic associations have decided to ban the cultivation of varieties that are derived from cell fusion.

The project aims to:

  • 1) optimise the selection methods for the cell fusion-free (CFF) broccoli varieties for organic farming, which perform well agronomically, of high quality taste and accepted by the market.
  • 2) test population varieties in comparison with cell fusion-based F1 hybrids under on-farm practice conditions.
  • 3) promote the commercial introduction of ZFF population varieties as a replacement for the cell fusion-based CMS hybrids. This will be carried out in cooperation with actors along the entire value chain.
Project status ongoing
Start of project 01.10.2016
End of project 30.04.2021
Financing/ Donor
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) – Promotion of Organic Research
  • EU Projekt: Diversifood
  • Bio Suisse
  • Sativa Rheinau AG
(Research) Programme
  • European Commission, Horizon 2020
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) – Promotion of Organic Research
Project partners
  • Sativa Rheinau AG
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Project coordination, Work package manager

Research area
Date modified 28.05.2019
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