Biotechnology Department was established in 2012 by joining all the potentials and experiences acquired throughout more than three decades of biotechnological research within the Institute and uniting them into a separate department. Highly-educated research staff and modern equipment are put into use for developing supreme NS hybrids and cultivars, as well as control of seed material genetic purity.
Biotechnology Department researchers participate in a number of national and international projects. All the research is applicable and is aimed at improving existing breeding programs and tackling current issues found in breeding, seed science, production, storing and processing of the most significant field and vegetable crops. In order to solve these complex problems and tasks, our research is directed towards development and application of tissue culture method and molecular markers in breeding cultivated crops.
Various tissue culture techniques are used for cultivars and lines in vitro testing in terms of tolerance to most important abiotic and biotic stress factors, shortening the selection process and increased efficiency of breeding programs. Thus Department researchers utilize various methods developed in our laboratories, above all micropropagation, anther culture and embryo culture.
Molecular methods are routinely used for genetic variability analysis, DNA profiling, i.e. profiling cultivars and hybrids. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) is the ultimate goal of research programs on wheat, maize, sunflower, soybean, sugar beet, alfalfa and other cultivated crops. Marker-assisted selection is a practical application of molecular markers in plant breeding and the final phase of a long research process, which enables choice of markers that can be used in molecular breeding. Department researchers have so far successfully developed MAS markers primarily for oil crops, but also for other important crops.