Dissemination of technology (technology transfer)

In the context of non-monetary benefit-sharing a lot of emphasis is put by Contracting Parties on the importance of private-public partnerships and pre-breeding and the availability of such pre-developed material under the Multilateral System of the International Treaty. Pre-breeding work and making such improved breeding material available for the breeding community is part of collaborative efforts related to technology transfer and capacity building. Private companies in many countries actively participate in such projects by contributing their expertise, facilities and also in many cases part of the budget of the project.

Nordic pre-breeding projects

A major initiative on pre-breeding/disease resistance breeding has been initiated in the Nordic countries, with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. Pre-breeding projects were launched in spring barley, apples (disease resistance pre-breeding) and perennial ryegrass (adaptation to changing climatic conditions).

The projects are financed according to a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with 50% public funding and 50% funding from participating companies. The companies financing part can be (partly) in kind contribution. The R&D work of the projects will be executed at Nordic Agricultural Universities as well as at the R&D/Breeding Departments of participating companies. The total budget for these PPP-projects is approx. € 1.1 million, split 50/50% public/private.

Pre-breeding lines generated in this project will be shared between the participating companies as well as being handed over to the Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen) collection and thereby accessible to the rest of the global breeding community.

The launch year of this PPP initiative was 2011 – to end in 2013 but due to good progress the project has been extended to continue also during2014. A new launch of Nordic PPP-initiatives is foreseen in autumn 2014.


Contact person for more information: Swedish Seed Trade Association – Per Henriksson (per.henriksson@svuf.se)



In the past 25 years, various fodder grasses have been successfully evaluated in co-operation with the gene banks (perennial ryegrass, meadow fescue, smooth meadow grass etc.).

These research approaches have been devised as public-private-partnerships in which a set of grass genotypes is sent to be evaluated to several partners (plant breeders and research institutions). The results of the evaluation have been included in the descriptive database. 


Contact person for more information: gfpi@bdp-online.de


EVA project

Back in the mid 1990s, scientists and plant breeders jointly founded the German evaluation program EVA for barley and wheat. The program is designed to evaluate genotypes preserved in gene banks or used in research projects for disease resistance against a set of harmonized criteria.

The project has been coordinated by the Institute for Research in Resistance and Stress Tolerance of the Julius Kühn Institute in Quedlinburg.

The results will be published in a database that will be availablefor the use of scientists, plant breeders and the greater public.


Contact person for more information: hans-ulrich.leistner@jki.bund.de


RUSTFIGHT: Meeting the New Challenges from Infectious Rust Fungi on Crop Plants

Aggressive Danish P. striiformis isolates are used to screen for novel resistance-genes in wheat genetic material from the international institutions ICARDA and CIMMYT.

Resistant and generally susceptible lines have been crossed. Resistance genes in yellow rust resistance-phenotyped doublehapoids are mapped based on existing wheat maps using SNP and SSR markers.

New identified molecular markers which are linked to rust resistance genes are valuable in marker-assisted selection in the wheat breeding, allowing for example to combine several resistance genes by gene pyramiding.

The wheat material containing new resistance to yellow rust will be of great importance not only for the European wheat growers but also for a number of other wheat growing countries worldwide. Grown varieties are stored in NordGen.


Project partners: Sejet Plant Breeding, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University


Contact person for more information: Mogens Houmøller (Aarhus University) Mogens.Hovmoller@agrsci.dk


PPP for pre-breeding in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

In order to get a good screening of genetic variation in Lolium perenne, a substantial number of accessions will be collected from EURISCO (European gene banks), GRIN (North America) and NIAS (Japan).

The aim in this project is to acquire a total of 400 accessions. These accessions will be used in seed multiplication, phenotyping, broad breeding population and genetic diversity analysis.

The aim is to get seed of up to 20 commercial cultivars with very good winter hardiness.


Project partners: DLF, Lantmännen, Graminor, Agricultural University of Iceland, Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute, Boreal, UMB and University of Aarhus.


Contact person for more information: Odd Arne Rognli (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) odd-arne.rognli@nmbu.no


Wheat Improvement Strategic Project (WISP)

The Wheat Improvement Strategic Project (WISP) based at the John Innes Centre with partners from Rothamsted, and Bristol and Nottingham universities and involving a coordinated approach to wheat genetics and pre-breeding with input of elite materials from 5 UK wheat breeding companies.


Contact person for more information: Prof. Graham Moore (JIC) +44 (0) 1603 450000 graham.moore@jic.ac.uk



IMPROMALT is a collaborative project led by the James Hutton Institute. Barley breeding companies are providing germplasm and backcrossing in work to introgress quality QTL from spring to winter barley backgrounds.


Contact person for more information: Bill Thomas (James Hutton Institute) +44 (0) 844 9285428 | bill.thomas@hutton.ac.uk


Breeders’ cooperation in research projects

An important contribution of the Czech breeding industry to evaluation and effective use of genetic resources is breeders’ cooperation in research projects focused on the evaluation of collections (search for new sources of genetic diversity, selection and evaluation of major donors of valuable characters, genetic characterization using DNA and protein markers, creating pre-breeding materials, creation of "core" collection, introduction and validation of new and neglected crops and others).

These projects implemented under the support of the national science foundations or Ministry of Education have contributed significantly to the understanding of genetic diversity in collections and have increased their value to users.

Participation of breeding sites has allowed the implementation of such projects and in many cases led to the effective use of genetic resources in plant breeding.


Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec holubec@vurv.cz



The Spanish company, Agrovegetal, is involved in the Collaborative EU Project SOLIBAM (Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and Management) FP7 2010-2014. In the framework of this project the company tests, in field conditions, the performance of different inbred lines of faba bean for developing new varieties. These are traditional varieties of faba bean from the Spanish Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Gene Bank.

The policy recommendations of the SOLIBAM project are available here


Website: www.solibam.eu

Contact person for more information: Ignacio Solís (Technical Director of Agrovegetal) isolis@agrovegetal.es


Germplasm Enhancement of Maize

Monsanto has provided long-standing (20 years) support to the USDA Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program, through in-kind service in the form of approximately 2,000 yield trial plots and some nursery rows each year, and  by providing 1 to 2 elite (proprietary) lines per year for use as breeding parents. Selections from the resulting breeding populations will be made publicly available as “GEM” lines.

In term of contribution of private germplasm to the public sphere, it is also important to note that improved maize lines with expired PVP, while representing only 2% of the available material from the USDA Maize Genebank, accounted for 48% of the seed packets distributed globally in 2013, highlighting how valuable and utilized this improved germplasm has become all around the world.


Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com