ResearchResearch projects
Forschungsverbund BRIWECS

Forschungsverbund BRIWECS

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Hartmut Stützel
Year:  2014
Date:  13-05-15
Funding:  Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), within the funding measure "Innovative Plant Breeding within the Cultivation System (IPAS)”m Rahmen der Programms "Innovative Pflanzenzüchtung im Anbausystem (IPAS)"
Duration:  01.10.2014-30.09.2017
Remarks:  Koordination Dr. Barbara Hahne

Research association BRIWECS:

With an average yield increase of 1-2% per year wheat breeding and production system development has been a success story worldwide. Innovations achieved by breeding over the past 50 years include improved plant canopy and root architecture and function, physiological and morphological adaptation to abiotic stress, resistances against biotic stress, and dense genetic marker maps which now enable us to identify small genetic regions of interest. Cropping system improvements comprise more targeted use of nitrogen fertilizers and plant protection including weed control, as well as improved tillage and irrigation. Future wheat production will most likely be characterized by the need to further increase yields, to improve the efficiency of resource use and to stabilize yields under increasingly fluctuating environmental conditions. This requires more resilient crop cultivars and cropping systems.

In the first three years of the five-year project, we plan to quantify innovations in wheat breeding of the past 50 years under different production systems varying in level of intensity of nitrogen supply and chemical plant protection, and under a range of temperatures and availability of water in the field. In a genome wide association mapping approach (GWAS), genomic regions or genes involved in breeding innovations will be determined and their interplay with the production system and the environment will be quantified. Factors influencing innovation development and integration in the German innovation system, comprising research institutions, breeders and their associations as well as the Federal Plant Variety Office (and the regional seed and variety testing authorities), seed propagation enterprises, and farmers will be determined.

In years 4-5, information of breeding innovations in relation to the production system and environment will be integrated in a simulation model to evaluate the genotype x environment x management interaction for all traits and trait combinations tested previously under present and expected future conditions. Based on model results, association studies and socio-economic analyses cultivar x production system x environment scenarios will be defined which will be analyzed further theoretically and experimentally. With the results of these studies we hope to be able to better define future breeding goals and production systems designs to meet future needs sustainably.


BRIWECS is a research association of seven project partners at four universities and two research institutes:

·         Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover

·         Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn

·         INRES Plant Breeding, University of Bonn

·         Institute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding, University of Kiel

·         Institute of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, University of Gießen

·         Institute for Resistance Research and Stress Tolerance, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Quedlinburg

·         Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and  Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben


The research association BRIWECS is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Stützel and Dr. Barbara Hahne at the Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover.