Pro­ject de­scrip­tion

The overall aim of INSUSFAR (Innovative approaches to optimize genetic diversity for sustainable farming systems of the future) is to contribute to the understanding of the optimal genetic diversity needed in wheat populations for future sustainable agricultural systems based on reduced tillage, the use of living mulch crops and otherwise enhanced intraspecific diversity.

To achieve these aims, the breeding innovations until now will be analyzed for their effects on adaptation to different agricultural systems to determine, which wheat types will be necessary for diversified sustainable systems. Model and real cropping systems with different degrees of input and diversity will be made use of. Besides crop performance, ecological and economical parameters will be analyzed.

The results will be reflected for their potential effects on agricultural practices and breeding methods and goals as well as the political and administrative measures that might be necessary to support sustainable agricultural development.

As breeding is a long-term process, a critical aim is also to ensure that the data generated in the project will be available for future research in open-source databases.

Con­tri­bu­tion by OPB

OPB contributes to the objectives of the project in several areas: Changes in diverse (CCP) wheat populations under the influence of different environmental conditions and cultivation methods are characterised and compared in terms of overall diversity (as a measure of selection) and heterozygosity (as a measure of outcrossing) using genetic markers. Changes in allele frequencies of genes for certain traits are also observed to describe directed selection in these populations. Furthermore, pure lines developed from the populations will be used for a genome-wide analysis of the association of marker alleles and trait expressions of different relevant traits. Finally, continuous improvement without limiting the diversity and adaptability of the populations is attempted by crossing current variety material suited for organic farming into the populations.