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European perspectives of organic plant breeding and seed production in a genomics era.

Lammerts van Bueren, E.T.; Wilbois, K-P. and Østergård, H. (2007) European perspectives of organic plant breeding and seed production in a genomics era. [European perspectives of organic plant breeding and seed production in a genomics era.] Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, Organic Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics – Current Status and Perspectives (Supplement 89), pp. 101-120.

[thumbnail of Lammerts_van_Bueren_et_al_2007_JARTS_SP_89.pdf] PDF - German/Deutsch


For further optimisation of organic agricultural systems, more focus is required on
organically produced seeds and the development of better adapted varieties.
Organic plant breeding and seed production need to comply with the concept of
naturalness as applied in organic agriculture, which not only includes the nonchemical
and agro-ecological approaches, but also the integrity of life approach.
As organic environments are less controllable and are more variable, breeding
should aim at improved yield stability and product quality by being adapted to
organic soil fertility as well as sustainable weed, pest and disease management.
Also the ability to produce economicacceptable seed yield avoiding seed-borne
diseases should be included. On the short term, organic plant production can gain
better yield stability by increasing within-crop diversity by the use of mixtures of
conventionally bred varieties or crop populations. Because of expected genotype
by environment interaction more research is needed to define the best selection
environment for selecting organic varieties. To arrive at better adapted varieties for
organic farming systems the role of practical participatory plant breeding may be
Although organic farming is clear on excluding the use of genetically modified
organisms and their derivates, the use of molecular markers is still under debate.
Questions arise with respect to their efficiency in selecting the most important
organic traits, such as yield stability, and on the compounds and substances to
produce and apply them. A major concern for a GM-free organic agriculture is an
increasing contamination with genetically modified organisms in organic
production and products, i.e., the problems related to co-existence of GM and non-
GM agriculture. This paper discusses some important factors with regard to
possible impact of co-existence on organic farming. Perspectives to a global scale
of organic plant breeding and seed production are given from a European point of

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic plant breeding, organic seed production, coexistence, GM-free agriculture, genetic diversity, genotype-environment interaction
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation: International Organizations > European Concortium fo Organic Plant Breeding ECOPB
Germany > FiBL Germany - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture > Agriculture
Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Denmark > DTU - Technical University of Denmark > DTU, RISØ - Risø National Laboratory
Deposited By: Wilbois, Dr. Klaus-Peter
ID Code:10734
Deposited On:25 Apr 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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