• Preparation of a DNA sample in the laboratory
    Genetic Research

Genetic research


In a nutshell

Here, the holistic structure and biological function of the plant genome are explored.


Complex characteristics that are not based on individual genes but on networks of genes can be analysed and accurately adapted.




Application in practical plant breeding since the 1990s.

Application at KWS

To analyse the genetic material of sugarbeet, maize, rapeseed, sunflowers, wheat, barley or rye. Many research projects are carried out in collaboration with our partners.

A genome is the totality of all genetic material in a plant. Genetic research reveals the make-up and biological function of the plant genome (i.e. all genes) and regulatory sections on it. We already know the genomes of many crops.

To make breeding-related deductions based on genome information, farmers mainly look at the genetic differences between different individual plants of a crop. The function of individual genes or DNA segments can be deduced by making connections between variations in the appearance of various plants (for example, disease-resistance) and their genetic differences. Genetic research also helps us analyse plant properties that are not based on individual genes, but on networks of genes. Complex traits such as yield and drought-tolerance can thus be more accurately adapted.

To shed more light on the functions of genes, scientists and farmers now include other research areas in their analyses and examine, for instance, the totality of all proteins (proteome) or metabolites (metabolome) of a plant.

The results obtained can be used for both traditional farming, as well as the new, innovative methods of plant breeding, such as genome editing.

An overview of our breeding methods

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Stephan Krings
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