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  • Author or Editor: Z. Bedő x
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Both resistance genes Lr19 and Lr24 originate from Agropyron elongatum . The gene Lr24 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 Lr19 (GbF/R 130 , SCS265 512 ) and four different markers (J9/1-2 310 , SC-H5 700 , SCS1302 613 and SCS1326 607 ) were available to search for the gene Lr24 . The GbF/ R130 marker for gene Lr19 worked well, but the SCAR marker SCS265 512 proved to be easier to use in MAS. SCAR markers SCS1302 613 and SCS1326 607 proved to be highly reliable and effective for gene Lr24 not only in Agent-derived sources but also in ‘Amigo’ derivatives. The STS marker J9/1-2 310 and the SCAR marker SC-H5 700 required several modifications and were effective only in ‘Agent’ offsprings.

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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.

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A total of 266 Martonvásár (Mv) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) accessions, including varieties and advanced lines, were examined using the “Perfect” molecular markers to detect the Rht-B1b (formerly Rht1) and Rht-D1b (formerly Rht2) semi-dwarfing genes. The gene Rht-B1b was detected in a total of 221 (83.5%) accessions. The Rht-D1b allele was found in fewer accessions. Overall 24 genotypes (9%) contained this allele. The analysis of the development date of the genotypes revealed that the introduction of the dwarfing genes into Martonvásár breeding programmes started in the early 1970s, and they were widely utilized from the 1980s. The Rht-B1b allele was the main source for reducing plant height, while the Rht-D1b allele played only a minor role in the Martonvásár breeding programme.Characterizing accessions using various molecular markers allows us to create a database offering relevant marker information about genotypes. Such a database could be very helpful for selection, allowing breeders to include varieties giving positive results in specific breeding programmes.

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The genetic diversity of cultivated spelt (Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta) presently is narrow. Evaluation of germplasm collections of spelt on quality level supplemented with DNA analysis is, therefore, of great importance. This study was designed to help the evaluation process for the selection of new spelt varieties with a support of molecular characterization. A total of 30 genotypes, including two common wheat varieties, were included in the evaluation of genetic diversity on quality and DNA levels. According to the quality attributes, spelt flours exhibited medium rheological parameters and many of them had average gluten quality. AFLP analysis was conducted to evaluate phylogenetic relationships and the genetic diversity present in the accessions. A high level of genetic diversity was revealed by the very high PIC values. Two main clusters could be separated on the dendrogram: a cluster with genotypes that have common wheat in their pedigree and another cluster consisting of pure spelt accessions. The extent of genetic diversity in the spelt germplasm collections was confirmed not only by molecular markers but on the basis of quality assessment.

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Genebanks are storage facilities designed to maintain the plant genetic resources of crop varieties (and their wild relatives) and to ensure that they are made available and distributed for use by plant breeders, researchers and farmers. The Martonvásár Cereal Genebank (MV-CGB) collection evolved from the working collections of local breeders and consists predominantly of local and regional materials. Established in 1992 by the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Bedő, 2009), MVCGB with its over 10,000 accessions of the major species (Triticum, Aegilops, Agropyron, Elymus, Thinopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Secale, Hordeum, Avena, Zea mays), became one of the approx. 80 cereal germplasm collections that exist globally. In Martonvásár breeding is underway on a number of cereal species, and large numbers of genotypes are tested each year in the field and under laboratory conditions. The increasing size of the research programmes assisted by a modern genebank background involve an enormous increase in the quantity of data that must be handled during research activities such as traditional breeding, pre-breeding and organic breeding. A computerized system is of primary importance to synchronize breeding and genebank activities, to monitor the quality and quantity of seed accessions in cold storage, to assist the registration of samples, and to facilitate characterization, regeneration and germplasm distribution.

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