Breeding of sunflower

Breeding of sunflower
(Helianthus annus L.)

Breeding of oil industry sunflower

Our objective is to develop and produce oil sunflower hybrids, which are securely and profitably producible on the sandy soils of Nyírség, under poor production circumstances. The following are integral parts of our work

  • Constant maintenance of breeding raw materials (gene preservation)
  • Development of oil industry base lines
  • Development of sterile and fertile “cms” analogues
  • Pathological and nutritional analysis of the lines
  • Execution of test crossings with the selected lines
  • Execution of the performance analysis of more perspective candidates
  • Constant maintenance of registered hybrids, F1 seed production
  • Analysis of the agro-technical components of sunflower production is an integral part of the breeding activities; its purpose is to continuously adapt the environment friendly sunflower cultivation technology – elaborated in various projects in recent years – to the current environmental and economic conditions of the Nyírség.

Major elements of our agro-technical research

Analysis of the variety

  • green crop (green manuring),
  • sowing time,
  • crop density,
  • fertilization,

plant pathological factors under the ecological conditions of the Nyírség.

Breeding of ornamental sunflower

Following its transition to Europe, people only recognized sunflower as an ornamental plant of gardens for decades. For nearly 250 years, it was considered an ornamental plant and then as a food crop. However, currently it is mainly used for industrial purposes. Our Institute makes efforts to make sunflower recognized again as an ornamental plant (Helianthus annuus L. var. ornamentalis [syn.: Helianthus annuus cv. Globosus fistulosus]). As a result of the work of our colleagues dealing with sunflower breeding, numerous types of both cms-sterile and cms-fertile analogues are available. The types can be seen on the photo below. As for its botanical background, we consider its role on the market of cut flowers secure and it might become an important ornamental plant again in gardens, backyards.

Breeding of sunflower for human consumption

Breeding of sunflower for human consumption has been carried out for multiple decades in our Institute. The Kisvárdai sunflower variety was created under the supervision of Vilmos Teichmann. Since its state registration (1954) it has continuously been popular amongst human consumers. However, the variety requires modernization. Major elements of our breeding tasks:

Establishment of tolerance against sunflower mildew (Plasmopara halstedii /FARL./ Berl. & de Toni),

Achievement of resistance against broomrape (Orobanche sp.),

Integration of a resistance to sunflower moth (Homoeosoma nebulellum DENIS et SCHIFFERMÜLLER).

Sunflower lines with different achene characteristics (human consumption – bird seed)

Biotechnology in the service of sunflower breeding

In 2005, a project was launched in our Biotechnological Laboratory situated in our centre in Nyíregyháza; its purpose was the elaboration of a micro-propagation procedure for certain sunflower lines, which was successfully achieved by the research team. Currently we work in the successful adaptation of the procedure to as many sunflower lines as possible.

As a follow-up of the project, we work on the elaboration of testing procedures, which can be performed under in vitro circumstances. The purpose is the easier testing of the pathological parameters of sunflower lines involved in breeding activities.

Updated: 2018.11.23.

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