• Preparation of a DNA sample in the laboratory
    Breeding methods

Plant breeding and research methods

Since its foundation over 160 years ago, KWS’s success has been based on innovative plant breeding methods to provide farmers with continuously improved seed for increasingly productive seed varieties. To do this, KWS uses a broad and continuously updated range of breeding techniques. Targeted manipulation of the genetic material of plants by cross-breeding selected parent plants with subsequent offspringstarted in the 19th century. Since then, methods have been continuously expanded and refined: Methods such as genome analysis, cell culture, hybrid breeding, biotechnology and bioinformatics have been added.


Thanks to these advancements, we increasingly find out more about the characteristics of plants and their genetic principles. All in all, these tools provide us with more information about plants and allow breeders to make quicker decisions. They can respond more rapidly to challenges such as climate change or new pathogens and provide farmers with optimally adapted varieties.

Our daily experience as a plant breeder shows us that our breeders require all currently avaialble methods to achieve targeted, ever-faster and more efficient breeding. This is extremely important as KWS is active in approximately 70 countries worldwide and competes with competitiver seed suppliers in many markets. Therefore, it’s essential for KWS plant breeders to positively influence international markets so that all may freely choose their goals and the tools best suited to achieving those goals. The crucial factors are those improved characteristics a new variety displays, not which methods were used to breed the variety.

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Thilo Resenhoeft
Thilo Resenhoeft
Corporate Communications
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