Searching for resistance
The purpose of pre-breeding is to adapt the available breeding material in terms of resistance and yield to changing environmental conditions. To obtain the genetic diversity needed for this process, pre-breeders like Klaus Oldach cross exotic material, which comes from such sources as gene banks, with their own breeding material.
Video: Pre-Breeding explained
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In pre-breeding Klaus Oldach works with wild barleys from the genebank to find effective resistances and integrate them into KWS breeding programs.
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The KWS pre-breeding for barley is located at the breeding station in Wohlde, Lower Saxony.
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Klaus Oldach inspects the growth of the barley plants in the greenhouse.
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In the greenhouse the barley plants develop under controlled conditions.
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The landraces and wild forms from the IPK genebank come from all over the world.
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The field trial will show whether the material from the genebank carries the desired resistance or not.
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Klaus Oldach and his colleagues are sowing the seeds from the genebank into the field.
The importance of the PAN Genome
Most of the genes are identical in all varieties of barley. This so-called Core Genome is for example responsible for the primary metabolism. Barley also has a Dispensible Genome, a series of genes that are specific to a particular barley plant. In landraces, these genes arose as adaptation to environmental conditions. Core Genome and Dispensible Genome together make the PAN Genome. It represents genetic diversity and is a key factor in breeding.