Old method of Plantbreeding rediscovered.
By: Joost van Winsen
Can a plant adapt to its environment? If that appeared to be true, than
it offers (huge) breedingpossibilities for organic agriculture and
agriculture in poor areas. Trials at the Russian Timirasov-University
show that winterwheat adapts itself to growthcircumstances and can be
selected on this.
Sonja Temirbikova is a Russian doctor in plantbreeding and
cropprotection. Since ten years she is testing winterwheat on their
capacity to adapt to circumstances of growth. The research started after
meeting with Jan Diek van Mansvelt from the Agricultural University
Wageningen in the Netherlands. Van Mansvelt visited Russia ten years ago
to see what the possibilities are for organic agriculture in Russia. In
the first year of the research Temirbikova planted Dutch wheat between
Russian wheat of the same variety.Ten percent of the Dutch wheat
appeared to be suitable for the extreme cold circumstances in Russia.
Also the second year the Dutch wheat proved resistent to the Russian
frost. "A quality of which we knew nothing in the Netherlands" says van
Mansvelt. This finding is in itself not new. Temirbikova: "plantbreeding
in former times was based on this principle. In grainshippings there
were several sisterlines which were used for selection. Nowadays, this
principle is being judged as a negative phenomena. It disturbs the
According to van Mansvelt, breeding on the basis of sisterlines was in
Scandinavian countries common practice till the end of the last century.
Also farmers in 'developing' countries use this principle in breeding.
Knwoledge about it is not very much present. It was lost with breeders
who selected this way. Breeding is for some length of time a matter of
crosses and since recent times of genetic engineering.
The lack of knowledge is one of the reasons why Temirbikova went on with
the research. She used three varieties: the Russian Mironowskaja 808,
Okapi and Rector. After ten years of research she concludes that without
crossing in five to six years a new biotype can be selected from a
population. "With crossing this would take twelve years". she says.
Points taken into consideration were yields and tolerances, but the
wheats also could be selected for diseaseresistance. Russian Ministery
of Science saw enough reason to continue subsidizing the research. The
research opens possibilities for organic agriculture."Farmers can take
up breeding themselves and do not need to be dependant on big breeding
companies. This can work cost reducing". The research is still young but
promising. "The principle can also be used with potatos and vegetables"
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: