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WP1 – Increase and manage crop diversity (pre-breeding & breeding)

To enhance and stabilise crop performance, organic farmers need a plurality of crops and cultivars adapted to a wide range of environments and organic farming systems, with high adaption potential and stress tolerance to tackle climate change.

Breeding for organic requires adopting a systems approach for which diversity is key. This is necessary on at least three levels:

  • diversity between available cultivars to harness genotype by environment by management interactions and target local adaptation
  • increasing within-cultivar diversity to enable resilience and evolutionary breeding
  • increasing species diversity through more species, longer rotations and crop mixtures (intercropping, agroforestry) supported by appropriate cultivars
WP1 will push adoption of cultivars with a higher genetic variability and broader biodiversity potential on the market by accelerating use of genetic resources on farm, developing breeding strategies and innovative tools to target relevant traits for organic crop production and delivering candidates for OHM notification and OV registration.

LIVESEEDING project strengthens the interplay between ex situ conservation, on-farm dynamic management, pre-breeding and breeding through a more integrative and transdisciplinary approach involving genetics and breeding methods, scientific knowledge in functional ecology and agronomy as well as practical knowledge based on farmers and practitioners’ experiences. Breeding of both OV and OHM will be addressed with emphasis on the level of intra-varietal/intra-population diversity that is desirable in different farming systems. Different breeding strategies and breeding tools will be applied, while addressing a wide range of crop species based expertise of partners and related LLs to foster broad innovation uptake.

Main objective of WP1 is to increase and optimize the available crop diversity to be used in organic farming systems.

T 1.1. Dynamic management of genetic resources through accelerated use
T 1.2. Innovative breeding strategies to address diversity of organic farming systems & food markets
T 1.3. Identify important trait combinations and tools for selection for different farming practices
T 1.4. Training in organic breeding

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