2005 Seeds and Breeds Conference, September 11-14, 2005, Iowa
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2005 Seeds and Breeds Conference, September 11-14, 2005, Iowa Alternative Plant and Animal Breeding Strategies in Europe Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren 1,2 and Wytze J. Nauta 2 1 Wageningen University, The Netherlands e.lammerts@louisbolk.nl 2 Louis Bolk Institute, The Netherlands Outline

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2005 Seeds and Breeds Conference, September 11-14, 2005, Iowa

Alternative Plant and Animal Breeding Strategies

in Europe

Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren1,2 and Wytze J. Nauta2

1Wageningen University, The Netherlands e.lammerts@louisbolk.nl

2Louis Bolk Institute, The Netherlands

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Outline Iowa

  • 1. Organic Farming in Europe

  • 2. Regulations in Europe

  • 3. Concept of naturalness

  • 4. Examples of plant breeding activities

  • 5. Examples of animal breeding activities

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Regulations in Europe on organic seed Iowa

  • Closing the organic production chain requires organic propagation since 2004 (EC 1452/2003).

  • No EU regulations available (yet) on organic breeding (IFOAM draft standards 2002), except ban on GMOs

  • EU governments’ policy 10 % organic production (NL a.o. in 2010) requires better adapted varieties and thus organic breeding.

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Concept of naturalness Iowa

In Europe genetic engineering forced the discussion on frameworks for ecological and ethical values to guide new developments.

The concept of naturalness includes:

a. non-chemical approach b. agro-ecological approach c. integrity of life approach

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Four levels of integrity of plants Iowa

Integrity of life on four levels:

1. living organisms - autonomy, self-ordering

2. plant-typic - ability to adapt to & inter- act with its environment

3. genotypic - reproductive barriers

4. phenotypic - balanced crop and seed production

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Plant breeding and propagation techniques Iowa

Consequences of the concept of naturalness for plant breeding and propagation techniques:

Organization level Non- Agro-

chemical ecological Integrity

Plant/crop level + ++ +++

(Organized) cell level + or – + or –– –––

DNA level – –– –––

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Examples of plant breeding – Germany Iowa

  • Kultursaat – biodynamic vegetable breeding www.kultursaat.com

  • Gardeners: propagation, testing, feed back

  • Farmer Breeders: breeding, research for breeding methods, nutritional quality

  • Association Kultursaat: coordination, financial support, registration, owner of new varieties

  • Bingenheimer Saatgut AG: Commercial seed producers company

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Examples of plant breeding - Switzerland Iowa

Peter Kunz and Sativa – biodynamic cereal breeding www.peter-kunz.ch.

Chain model:

Peter Kunz – breeder of spelt & wheat varieties Sativa: maintenance, seed production, sales of seeds Miller with license for Sativa brand Bakery with Sativa brand Consumers (sponsorship)

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Examples of plant breeding – The Netherlands Iowa

Vitalis Organic Seeds in cooperation with ENZA (conventional seed company) www.vitaliszaden.nl

Vitalis works independently:

- Vegetable organic seed production, sales in NL - Organic vegetable breeding

ENZA holds shares of Vitalis:

- Delivers genetic material for breeding and seed production - European market

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Examples of plant breeding – France Iowa

  • INRA- national research institute www.selection.participative.cirad.fr

  • Supporting organic participatory cereal & vegetable breeding

  • Providing genetic resources & prebreeding

  • Farmers’ network for selection activities

  • Documentation

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Examples of plant breeding – The Netherlands Iowa

  • Louis Bolk Institute – private research institute for organic farming with public funding: www.louisbolk.nl

  • Research projects to develop concepts and strategies for organic plant breeding, in close cooperation with farmers

  • On-farm variety trials, crop ideotypes, base populations

  • Providing network and know how to farmer breeders

  • Publications, documentation

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Examples in plant breeding research Iowa

  • Broadening the genetic base by

  • Variety mixtures: barley –Denmark Hanne Oestergard – Risoe Nat. Laboratory, www.darcof.dk

  • Composite crossing: winter wheat – UK Martin Wolfe-Elm Farm Research Centre www.efrc.com

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Education in organic plant breeding – NL Iowa

  • Wageningen University – Department of Plant Breeding hosts a endowed chair for Organic Plant Breeding, since 2005

  • edith.lammertsvanbueren@wur.nl

    • English MSc course on Organic Farming Systems

    • Supervising international PhD projects

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International cooperation within Europe (1) Iowa

  • EU funded cereal network project: SUSVAR www.cost860.dk

  • Network of breeders for low-input and organic farming

  • Handbook for organic cereal variety testing

  • Exchange of genetic material

  • International workshops

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International cooperation within Europe (2) Iowa

  • European Consortium for Organic Plant Breeding (ECO-PB, founded in 2001)

  • Member of IFOAM

  • Providing platform for discussion, exchange of knowledge and experiences

  • Initiation and support of organic breeding programmes

  • Independent expertise for standard setting

  • www.eco-pb.org, on-line monthly newsletter

  • Conferences, round table meetings, workshops

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International cooperation within Europe (3) Iowa

  • Working Groups Organic Plant Breeding and Seed Production within regular organizations:

  • ISOFAR – International Society of Organic Agriculture research

  • ESA – European Seed Association (member of ISF)

  • EUCARPIA – association for plant breeding researchers

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Animal breeding in organic farming Iowa

  • Many countries with many breeds

  • Different rural areas

  • Limited possibilities for cooperation between countries

  • Different ideas about organic breeding?

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Activities in countries Iowa

Netherlands: - Farmers vision/ G x E research - Farm based “Kin-breeding”

Germany: - Discussions about what organic breeding should be/become - Line-breeding (Bakels)/G x E research - Life time production selection

United Kingdom: - Crossbreeding

Switzerland/Germany/Austria: - Eco-breeding index

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Vision: Major decision points Iowa

I: Use of artificial reproduction

II: Selection bases conventional or organic

III: General or individual (Kin-breeding) approach

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Based on major decision points Iowa

I = no ET/AI, II = organic bases, III = farm bases

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Arguments Iowa

  • Naturality of the production process

  • Consumers wish (and expectation)

  • Farmers choice for organic

  • Legislation: intentions!

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Current actions Iowa

  • ET-free bulls selection

  • GxE research

  • Social-economic studies

  • Course on-farm Kin-breeding

  • Networking for Organic Breeding!

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On-farm kin-breeding Iowa

  • Selection of “best” sire dams from different families/lines

  • Select 4-5 breeding bulls per year from different lines/families

  • Use all these bulls over families avoiding close relations

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Why On-farm kin-breeding Iowa

  • Many farmers want natural breeding with breeding bull/boars on the farm

  • Prevention of inbreeding (kin breeding is a mild in-breeding system)

  • Selection based on organic farm environment

  • Very uniform herds

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Why On-farm kin-breeding Iowa

Dutch Friesians (FH) from kin-breeding farm Lozeman