Project

The Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding (CroP-BioDiv)

Goal: The Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding is a research driven network aimed to deliver both knowledge and outputs in direct support for agricultural research progress. The objectives of the CoE include: (1) Increase of benefits arising out of use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (2) Identification of key plant traits through field experiments and laboratory analysis and optimize protocols for phenotyping, (3) Optimalization of genotyping protocols introducing common standardized lab analysis procedures and (4) Implementation of novel statistical methodology. The research will be conducted in eight model species chosen to represent economically most important as well as the most promising crops in Croatia: maize, wheat, soybean, grape vine, olive, Brassicas, common bean and Dalmatian pyrethrum. The main aim is to promote cooperation and synergy among all Croatian universities and research institutes dedicated to research and development of agriculture in order to establish the novel research platform that will incorporate recent scientific and technological advancements to cope with and respond to impending challenges in plant breeding sector.
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Project goal
The Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding is a research driven network aimed to deliver both knowledge and outputs in direct support for agricultural research progress. The objectives of the CoE include: (1) Increase of benefits arising out of use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (2) Identification of key plant traits through field experiments and laboratory analysis and optimize protocols for phenotyping, (3) Optimalization of genotyping protocols introducing common standardized lab analysis procedures and (4) Implementation of novel statistical methodology. The research will be conducted in eight model species chosen to represent economically most important as well as the most promising crops in Croatia: maize, wheat, soybean, grape vine, olive, Brassicas, common bean and Dalmatian pyrethrum. The main aim is to promote cooperation and synergy among all Croatian universities and research institutes dedicated to research and development of agriculture in order to establish the novel research platform that will incorporate recent scientific and technological advancements to cope with and respond to impending challenges in plant breeding sector.
Background and motivation
Plant breeding in Croatia has a long tradition stemming back to the beginning of 20th century. Up to now, the activities were mainly focused on arable crops with varying intensity and success resulting in about 1,200 cultivars registered in the past 60 years. In the last 25 years global multi-national breeding companies gradually became major players on Croatian seed market reducing the share of former public and nowadays mostly private Croatian breeding institutions and companies. This is particularly reflected in the dominating share in hybrid seed market (arable and vegetable crops), while for self-pollinating crops (e.g., wheat, barley and soybean) state of affairs is to a certain degree more favourable due to fact that regional breeding to a better extent reflects local agro-ecological conditions thus having more success.
The economic value of the most important arable crops in Croatia (maize, wheat and soybean) is reflected through the annual value of crop production that varies between 350 and 400 millions of euros. The estimated annual value for royalty fees (incorporated into the seed value) is between 7 and 8 millions of euros. Out of this amount, 4 to 4.5 millions…