Wel­come to the Sec­tion of Or­ganic Plant Breed­ing and Agro­bi­od­iversity

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

Organic plant breeding strives to find solutions to the particular challenges of organic farming. Due to production technology reasons, conventional agriculture aims at a high uniformity of the plant population and compensates for its disadvantages by the timely application of external resources such as mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The deliberate renunciation of this short-term influence on the agroecosystem in organic farming results in breeding objectives that are either less valued in conventional breeding or do not occur at all. Such breeding objectives are the dense and deep formation of roots, early soil cover, efficient and especially sustainable resistance to pathogens (including seed-borne pathogens) as well as tolerance to mechanical weed control. Moreover, the disadvantages of high uniformity predominate in organic farming and greater agrobiodiversity is sought.

Agrobiodiversity comprises the totality of animals, plants and microorganisms, which are present in agroecosystems. Agrobiodiversity contributes to the stabilization of the agricultural ecosystem against biotic and abiotic stress factors, supports soil health and productivity, optimizes the utilization of resources and reduces economic risks as well as the pressure exerted by agricultural ecosystems on surrounding near-natural ecosystems.

The section of Organic Plant Breeding and Agrobiodiversity strives for a close cooperation with all those involved in practically working plant breeding, whose concern is offering suitable variety types especially for organic agriculture, preferably with those working in the field of organic breeding. The methods range from decentralized breeding methods and bulk populations to traditional breeding methods and the application of molecular markers.