The breeding activities in
grasses, chicory, clovers, green manure crops, vegetables and ornamentals
focus on the development of pre-breeding material. Improving resistance
to diseases and plagues is a priority in this respect. A better
nitrogen use efficiency and increased quality are important points
of attention in the creation of new varieties of fodder grasses
and vegetables. In ornamentals, we use interspecific hybridisation
techniques to look for new shapes and colours.
One of the tasks of the department is to search for alternative
applications of crops, like chicory and hops. We investigate the
fodder quality of grasses and clovers. In addition we aim to optimize
the function of crops for the production of bio-energy.
In the framework of international agreements, maintaining the genetic
heritage is an important aspect. For this purpose, gene banks were
created for important Flemish agricultural and horticultural crops
with the aim of maintaining genetic biodiversity on the one hand
and for the exploitation of interesting characteristics in the development
of sustainable agriculture and horticulture on the other hand.
The application of new developments in biotechnology and bio-informatics
in combination with field and glasshouse trials requires a multidisciplinary
approach. Integration of knowledge from different research domains
and the close collaboration with other institutes guarantees the
achievement of the proposed goals.
More information can be found at