For sustainable production of food derived cultivars as well as management methods need to be optimized for organic farming conditions. Specific breeding programs for organic agriculture are essential to increase efficiency and yield stability of organic food production. The increase of GM cultivars and also the fast concentration process of international seed companies coupled with patenting in the last decades threatens the availability of genetic resources. In a brochure different breeding techniques and methodologies are described including traditional methods (e.g., emasculation, crossings, inbreeding, backcross breeding, induced mutations, vegetative propagation), newer methods (e.g., in vitro selection, doubled haploids, marker assisted selection) and cutting edge technologies (e.g., cisgenetics, RNAi, Tilling, Zink finger nucleasis). Based on this information an expert workshop was conducted and resulted in a position paper on organic plant breeding. In this position paper the criteria for evaluation of breeding techniques are defined.
Project lead and implementation