The integration of conventional plant breeding and plant transformation is necessitated by the fact that, prior to the gene technological phase, traditional breeding methods have to be used to develop agronomically valuable homozygous genotypes which can then be modified for a gene or genome segment by means of gene manipulation techniques. Once the genotype selected by means of conventional breeding has been transformed, traditional methods are again used to examine the agronomic properties of the lines developed from the transgenic plant and the stability of the transgenic variety, following the DUS criteria elaborated by UPOV. The seed production of genetically modified plant varieties must be safe and economical and the cultivation of the variety should contribute to the sustainable development of up-to-date crop production.
The concept of the sustainable development of agricultural production marked the beginning of a new era in agriculture worldwide. The term sustainability was first interpreted primarily as the sustainability of the environment, due to the ever more serious problems experienced in this connection on a global scale. In searching for a solution, however, focus shifted to a complex approach to sustainable development. It became clear that in addition to the sustainability of the environment, a long-term solution could only be achieved if economic and social sustainability was also ensured. This is particularly true of agriculture, since the existing problems cannot be solved purely on the basis of environmental considerations. Only the comprehensive handling of ecological, economic and social challenges can produce a satisfactory answer to the questions involved in sustainable development. This will necessarily mean a change in the tasks facing agriculture, which will be responsible for more numerous, more varied functions than previously. If these new tasks are to be successfully performed, new technological systems will need to be elaborated, requiring an acceleration of research and development throughout the world.
Both resistance genes
. The gene
is derived from two different translocations: 1BS/3Ag (‘Amigo’) or 3DS/3Ag (‘Agent’). The use of molecular markers makes selection easier during the breeding process as well as in the selection of the parents. In this study, two markers were used to identify the gene
) and four different markers (J9/1-2
) were available to search for the gene
. The GbF/
marker for gene
worked well, but the SCAR marker SCS265
proved to be easier to use in MAS. SCAR markers SCS1302
proved to be highly reliable and effective for gene
not only in Agent-derived sources but also in ‘Amigo’ derivatives. The STS marker J9/1-2
and the SCAR marker SC-H5
required several modifications and were effective only in ‘Agent’ offsprings.
The storage of wheat data in computers began in the mid-eighties in Martonvásár, and was accompanied by the development of the first simple programs to assist the data management of routine breeding tasks. The great expansion of breeding materials and the demand for new applications have led to an enormous increase in the number of data and have made data processing increasingly more complicated. Data storage facilities and computer programs reflecting an outdated technological level were unable to keep pace with developments. Data storage and applications had to be redesigned on new lines to create a completely new information system amalgamating know-how from breeding and informatics.The paper introduces an extremely important part of this system: pedigree records, which contain the designations of all the genotypes included in traditional field breeding programmes and in the gene bank, together with crossing data, phenotypes and genomic data.An up-to-date, consistent pedigree register is one of the key components in the breeding information system, without which the maintenance and alteration of the names of plant species (wheat, barley, oats, etc.) and linking them to experiments and experimental quality data would be an extremely complex, time-consuming task. It would be even more difficult to keep track of all the genotypes and the increasingly large numbers of related lines from year to year.In addition to describing the rationale behind the system, details will be given on the tools and conditions required for the establishment of the pedigree records, and the internal and external sources available. Finally, some practical examples will be given of how the Martonvásár wheat breeding information system has been applied.
One basic precondition for the reliable cultivation of winter durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) in Hungary is for the varieties to have good winter hardiness and frost resistance. Field overwintering experiments carried out in Martonvásár between 1995 and 2003 demonstrated that there was a significant difference every year between the overwintering of varieties with poor and good frost resistance, though only in two years was there a significant difference between that of varieties with medium and better frost resistance. Only a medium correlation was observed between the mean annual values of the air temperature in the winter months and the winter hardiness of the varieties, confirming that winter hardiness is influenced jointly by a number of environmental factors (e.g. cold, snow cover). In the experiments carried out on the winter hardiness dynamics of durum wheat, it was found that in milder winters even T. durum varieties which are sensitive to frost overwintered with little damage, while in the two coldest winters during the experimental period the hardiness of these varieties did not provide sufficient protection even in December, and all the plants were destroyed by January. The early spring frosts experienced in 1996 proved in these experiments that spring frosts may cause considerable damage even to durum wheat varieties with relatively good winter hardiness. Averaged over eight years, the results prove that T. durum genotypes are now available whose average state of hardening and winter hardiness are equal or better than those of winter T. aestivum varieties with moderate frost resistance.
The widespread use of digitally-controlled measuring and analytical devices and electronic data collectors, all equipped with microprocessors and linked to computers, has made it possible for on-line data collection to become a routine process. A rational combination of two up-to-date techniques, barcodes and digital balance terminals, linked to an average computer background (Kuti et al., 2003), has proved in practice to satisfy the criteria raised for the up-to-date processing of breeding data at low cost. This system is an example of how it is possible to reduce costs while processing data more rapidly and reliably and allowing human resources to be utilised more flexibly and efficiently. The modules (MvLabel, MvSticker, MvWeighing)of the program package developed in Martonvásár for the handling and analysis of the data from plant breeding and crop production experiments can also be used independently for the identification of experimental field units (spikes, rows, plots) and for the online handling of weight measurements and analytical data. They provide a simple solution for the design and printing of labels (self-adhesive or plastic) containing barcodes. They make it easier to retrieve the data recorded by digital balance terminals and store them on hard discs, while also helping to unify and synchronise the various parts of the system using barcode readers to identify the measurement data.
The effect of vernalization response and photoperiod sensitivity on reproductive fitness and agronomic traits was examined in a group of 16 H. spontaneum accessions and 8 H. vulgare cultivars in controlled environments. The whole range of plant developmental and agronomic traits was determined by vernalization. The reproductive fitness was severely impaired when the vernalization requirements of the plants were not saturated. Variation in the magnitude of vernalization response significantly correlated with several traits. A larger decrease in reproductive tiller number, average seed number and consequently final grain yield was more characteristic of accessions with a greater vernalization response. When the vernalization requirement was met, long photoperiod enhanced the fitness of the plants and resulted in larger yield and yield components, irrespective of the genotype, while short photoperiod acted as a limiting factor for all these traits. There was, however, a difference in the reaction type of wild and cultivated genotypes due to their different plant strategies.
Tillering ability is a complex trait, the development of which is influenced by both environmental factors and complex genetic regulation. In the present experiments this complex regulation was dissected into its various components in an effort to separate the effect on tillering of major genes influencing ontogeny from that of other genomic factors. The tillering rate of a facultative × winter barley mapping population was examined in the field after autumn and spring sowing. The vernalisation sensitivity gene
exerted a considerable influence on tillering in spring-sown barley. In addition to the major genes, QTL analysis revealed two chromosome regions (1HS and 3HL) with a significant influence on the extent of tillering. Neither of these regions were involved in the regulation of heading date, and their effect on tillering was the most intense at the beginning of ontogeny, gradually declining as the influence of the
gene increased. The function of the
locus in the regulation of tillering is manifested partly through a direct effect on the transition from the vegetative to the generative phase and partly indirectly via epistatic regulation of other chromosome regions influencing tillering.