• bumblebees at work

  • recurrent selection - quick improvement for resistance to anthracnose in red clover

     left: improved variety
    right: initial population

  • rust in Kentucky bluegrass

  • selection for tolerance to temporary drought stress

  • germination test

  • cold storage

  • germinator

Invited Speakers

The role of genetic diversity and forage grass breeding in meeting the challenges of grassland farming

Johannes Isselstein
Professor and lecturer of Grassland Science, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Scientific Interest:
 Sustainability of grassland systems and grassland farming, agronomy of divers grasslands, grazing and biodiversity, smart grassland farming.


  Session 1: Natural diversity – a valuable source for breeding
  This session will include studies on genetic diversity of ecotypes and breeding
  germplasm, the use of species mixtures, interspecific hybridization and gene bank


Activation of ex situ collections: promises kept and pending

Andreas Graner
 Plant geneticist, Professor for Plant Genetic Ressources at MLU Halle, managing director of IPK and head of the federal ex situ genebank. Interests: integration of genomics to advance both conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. 

Making the most of multi-species mixtures: the role of species and functional diversity in intensively managed grasslands

Caroline Brophy
 Associate Professor of Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Her research is at the interface of statistics, ecology and agronomy.

Data management for preserving genetic diversity: Experiences and challenges

Stephan Weise
 Bioinformatician at the German crop plant genebank in Gatersleben, where his work focuses on the design and implementation of information systems and databases, mainly on plant genetic resources. Since 2014, he has been coordinator of the European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources (EURISCO), which documents information on more than 2 million ex situ accessions from 43 countries.


  Session 2: Characterizing genetic diversity – the basis for selection
  This session will include trait characterisation (including modern phenotyping) and studies
  on the genetic control of traits including QTL analyses, genome-wide association studies
  as well as new information on genomics, genetics and physiology


 Understanding forage genomes beyond SNPs – an example on reproductive traits

Bruno Studer
 Agronomist, Professor of Molecular Plant Breeding at the Institute of Agriculture Sciences of ETH Zurich. His research aims at developing molecular methods and techniques to understand the genetic composition of complex traits and applying this knowledge to plant breeding.

Adaptivity of forage grasses under climate change: from phenotype to gene

Kristina Jaskune
Senior researcher at LAMMC, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. Her research area covers forage grass physiology and pre-breeding with a main focus on adaptivity to water deficit and freezing stresses, implementation of novel phenotyping tools and methods as well as molecular marker development.


  Session 3: Strategies to optimally exploit genetic diversity
  This session will include breeding strategies such as genomic selection, hybrid breeding,


Can we define a red clover ideotype for mixtures with grasses

Åshild Ergon
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Faculty of Biosciences. 
Her research area is within genetics and physiology of forages, with a main focus on species mixtures, cold acclimation, winter survival and phenology.

Genetic diversity for breeding tomorrows forage cultivars

Susanne Barth
 since 18 years engaged in forage genetics as a scientist working for Teagasc, The Irish Food and Agriculture Development Authority. She has a vivid interest in the conservation and utilisation of genetic resources and the genetics and physiology of crops.


  Session 4: “Minor” and “new” species – solution for future challenges
  This session is focused on the potential and breeding of new and “minor species” to fulfil
  the needs under changing climatic and economic conditions


Shall we add some flowers or even add some weeds - will this be the solution for business of seeds

Fred Eickmeyer
Former plant breeder of forage, turf and catch crops.
In 2010 he founded his own company ESKUSA and is now dedicate to breeding, seed production, technical seed processing and crop development of medicinal plants, industrial raw material plants (rubber dadelion), lupins and wild herbs.


  Festulolium Workshop


Development of KASPar markers in Festulolium hybrids

Marc Ghesquiere
Researcher at INRAE (Lusignan, France) with long-term experience in genetics and breeding of Festulolium.
He serves as a Chair of EUCARPIA Festulolium Working Group

Alterations in leaf lipidome under water deficit and re-watering in Lolium multiflorum/Festuca arundinacea introgression forms distinct in drought tolerance

Arek Kosmala
Full professor at the Institute of Plant Genetics (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland) with the interest in plant physiology and genetics, including forage grasses (fescues, ryegrasses and Festulolium)

High-throughput identification of F1 Lolium x Festuca hybrids using flow cytometry

David Kopecky
Associate professor at Institute of Experimental Botany (Czech Academy of Sciences, Olomouc, Czech Republic).
His interest covers genetics, evolutinary biology and ekology of interspecific hybrids.
He serves as a Chair of EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Section


AberRoots - a new Festulolium cultivar

Mike Humphreys
Emeritus professor at IBERS (Aberystwyth, Wales) with whole-carrier interest in genetics, physiology, breeding and ecology of Festulolium. He was the leading force in establishment of Festulolium Working Group and promoting this crop in grass community.