Plant Breeding Triple Event at Munich_June 2015

A COBRA meeting has been included as one of three different events related to plant breeding that was held at the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Weihenstephan near Munich in Germany from 24th-26th June 2015. The other two events were the inaugural new EUCARPIA Working Group meeting on Plant-Microbe interactions and a working group meeting of the European Consortium for Organic Plant breeding (ECOPB).  This was a great opportunity bringing together different organisations and researchers all working on different areas related to organic plant breeding.

The COBRA session ran from June 24th-25th and began with a choice of two field tours, followed by meetings of different workpackage groups for WPs 2, WP3 and WP4.  Field tour A took in the TUM composite cross population cereal trials and legume cover crops that are integral to the COBRA project and tour B, hosted by LfL, showed participants around the cereal trials for Tilletia controversa resistance screening.

The WP sessions reviewed progress to date and allowed WP leaders to raise any specific issues for discussion with partners. For WPs 2 & 3 this took the form of group discussions and presentations from task leaders, led by the respective WP leaders, Maria Finckh and Peter Baresel.  The WP4 session, led by Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, ran as a workshop with speakers on organisational models of organic plant breeding and presentations of project case studies.

WP2 – Breeding for Resilience: Meeting at Technical University Munich (TUM) 

Members of WP2 met in Munich and there was a very interesting field visit. Breeders Anne Charois and Joerg Peter Baresel presented a large number of field experiments:

Anne CharoisAnne Charois showing her breeding lines selected for superior taste and resistance to common bunt and dwarf bunt.

Joerg Peter BareselJoerg Peter Baresel explains the generation and performance of composite crosses for bund resistance to participants.

The participants took a long walk in the field to see the variety trials, experiments on minimum tillage, trials on intercropping and several trials on potential subsidiary crops that are performed within the EU project OSCAR on the optimization of subsidiary crop applications in rotations (see:

Wheat growing together with clover at variable densitiesWheat growing together with clover at variable densities

Here the album with the pictures on “Field tour: Cereal Trials (composite cross) and legume cover crops” shared on COBRA Facebook page.

Below, the list of some presentations:
Progress in breeding for organics: impacts of the seed derogation system
– Dr.Bruce Pearce, Gaina Dunsire, Dr.Sally Howlett, ORC

WP4: Organisational models of Organic plant breeding and breeding for organic farming and case studies Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, WP4 leader, SEGES
Associated partner: Description of two initiatives to stimulate breeding in spring wheat for organic agriculture in the Netherlands – Edwin Nuijten, Louis Bolk Institute


1st EUCARPIA Workshop on Implementing Plant-Microbe Interactions in Plant Breeding

The 1st EUCARPIA Workshop on Implementing Plant-Microbe Interactions in Plant Breeding was organized by Dr. Monika Messmer (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland) and hosted by Dr. Jörg Peter Baresel at TUM Weihenstephan in Freising on June 25-26 2015 attached to the COBRA project meeting. The workshop aimed to create a network among plant breeders and researchers of different disciplines to explore the potential of utilizing plant-microbe interactions in plant breeding. Twelve talks and several poster presentations were given on topics ranging from microbial responsiveness and its genetic basis to opportunities of integrating these findings into applied research and breeding programs. The two keynote speakers, Prof. Dr. Lori A. Hoagland from Purdue University and Dr. Arjen Biere from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, revealed insights into breeding approaches for beneficial belowground interactions and three-way interactions between plants, microbes and arthropods to enhance crop protection and production. The workshop ended with a fruitful discussion of the 35 participants on the future activities of the newly founded EUCARPIA Working group on plant-microbe interactions.

Eucarpia Workshop

 Plant breeders and researchers listen to a speech on the dependency of mycorrhiza occurrence on species and plant cultivation method held by Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Lidia Sas Paszt from The Research Institute of Horticulture, Poland.



Plenum discussion outcomes: A joint exercise identified promising research topics, breeding opportunities and challenges.

Click here for reading the Booklet Breeding for plant microbe interaction June 25th 26th 2015 v6_MM+final

Leave a Reply