Division of Plant Breeding

Last changed: 30 April 2024

Plant breeding will contribute significantly to future crop production systems because new cultivars will be more resistant toward pathogens, more competitive against weeds, more efficient in taking up nutrients, and more resilient against extreme weather events. New cultivars will also have appropriate produce quality to meet the various demands of end-users. We perform and assist in breeding for both agriculture and horticulture.

Our researchers work on the domestication and genetic enhancement of new crops for environmentally friendly farming systems. Likewise, we are training graduate students and building national and international research capacity (especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America) on genetic resource characterisation and breeding for many types of cereals and pulses as well as coffee, banana, fescue, and avocado. Our undertakings vary in nature: from basic research such as molecular characterization of genetic variation to more applied research, for instance breeding late blight resistant potato cultivars for Sweden and the Nordic region of Europe.

For the horticultural part of our research, we specially focus on domestication, pre-breeding, and plant breeding of fruit and berries for sustainable farming systems, including organic farming. Traits that we prioritise are fruit quality, disease resistance, and storage durability. We also develop new varieties with high amounts of bioactive compounds. We perform comparative field trials with selections and new cultivars of several fruit and berry species for growing in Sweden.

Many of our research projects are within these fields:

  • Pre-breeding such as evaluation and utilisation of genetic resources
  • Breeding of both Nordic and tropical crop species
  • High throughout genotyping by GWAS
  • Phenotyping using machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) techniques