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Methods

Cell and tissue culture

Cell and tissue culture are part of the routine practical plant breeding work at KWS. Valuable breeding germplasm are multiplied using tissue culture methods in the laboratories and are stored for a long period in vitro (lat.: “in glass”).

Molecular Markers

The laboratory dedicated to the application and development of molecular markers routinely carries out analyses for the KWS breeding program.

New possibilities for establishing characteristics at the level of genetic information as well as new technologies are taken up and incorporated for practical application. Ongoing research projects are dedicated to classifying the characteristics of certain DNA sequences. These have to be linked with molecular markers. Molecular markers are used as a diagnostic tool to characterize plants with a “genetic fingerprint”. These markers are used to identify desired characters (e.g., disease resistances) after crossing or backcrossing (Marker supported / based selection) in a very quick, cheap and reliable way. Using marker-assisted selection, it is possible to consistently select for specific traits which are strongly influenced by the environment and/or complex quantitative inheritance that would otherwise be difficult under conventional breeding conditions.

Genome Research

Genome Research currently represents one of the key KWS research activities. The main focus of the research is to clarify the molecular and genetic basis of the economically viable characteristics. The findings are to be implemented mainly in the area of DNA diagnostics.

Key activity is focused on participation in different projects, such as the national genome research initiative GABI (Genome Analysis in the Biological System of the Plant) and CBSG (Centre for BioSystems Genetics).

The scientists apply genome research molecular tools to deal with specific problems and work on transferring the results from internal research projects and other joint research projects into practical applications in commercial breeding.

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