Welcome to the Section of Organic Plant Breeding and Agrobiodiversity (OPB)

Organic plant breeding plays an important role for organic agriculture as it provides the plant types on which the success of organic agriculture is based on.

Organic plant breeding strives for solutions for the specific challenges of organic agriculture. Due to technical production considerations, conventional agriculture aims at high uniformity of the crop, and tries to balance the disadvantages of this choice by short-term application of external resources such as mineral fertilizers and chemical plant protection. The deliberate renouncement of these short-term means of influencing the agricultural ecosystem results in breeding aims that either have low priority in breeding for conventional agriculture, or are not present at all, such as deep and dense root development, early soil coverage, efficient and sustainable disease resistance (also against seed-borne diseases) und tolerance against mechanic weed control. Further, as the disadvantages of a high uniformity prevail in organic agriculture, a higher agrobiodiversity is aimed at.

Agrobiodiversity comprises the entirety of animals, plants and microorganisms being used directly or indirectly by agriculture. Agrobiodiversity contributes to the stability of the agro-ecosystem towards biotic and abiotic stress factors, supports soil fertility und productivity, optimizes resource utilization and reduces economic risks and the pressure from agro-ecosystems to their surrounding natural ecosystems.

The Section of Organic Plant Breeding and Agrobiodiversity aspires close cooperation with practical plant breeders aiming for variety types especially for organic plant breeding, preferentially with organically working breeders. The spectrum of methods stretches from decentralised breeding approaches and composite-crosses over traditional breeding systems to the application of molecular marker techniques.