Project: Coordinating Organic plant BReeding Activities for Diversity,

Organic plant production is currently challenged by several pressure factors. Along with perennial problems such as weed control, climate change is threatening to affect crop production through increasing weather variability. Plant breeding is a crucial factor in creating organic crop production systems that can better cope with such interacting stresses and producers need crop varieties with (a) good resistance against pests and diseases, esp. seed borne diseases; (b) the ability to react to environmental, esp. climatic variability; and (c) high competitiveness against weeds. COBRA aims to support and develop organic plant breeding and seed production with a focus on increasing the use and potential of plant material with High genetic Diversity (Hi-D) in cereals (wheat and barley) and grain legumes (pea and faba bean) through coordinating, linking and expanding existing breeding and research. Although Hi-D-based systems have shown promising results in organic systems and are currently subject to intensive research, their benefits can at present not be exploited, due to agronomic, regulatory and other hurdles. Also, it is currently unclear which plant breeding approaches, Hi-D-based or else, are most efficient to breed varieties for organic agriculture. Therefore, COBRA aims (1): To improve methods ensuring seed quality and health; (2) to determine the potential to increase resilience, adaptability, and overall performance in organic systems by using crop diversity at various levels; (3) to improve breeding efficiency and to develop novel breeding methods to enhance and maintain crop diversity; (4) to identify and remove structural barriers to organic plant breeding and seed production; and (5) to improve networking and dissemination in organic plant breeding. COBRA’s strength is its focus on coordinating, linking and expanding ongoing organic breeding activities in cereals and grain legumes across Europe, drawing together experts from previously fragmented areas.

Acronym COBRA
Duration 01/03/2013 - 28/02/2016
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic II
Call Second call of CORE Organic II

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Organic Research Centre Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Aegean Agricultural Research Institute Türkiye
3 Aalborg University Denmark
4 Agrologica Denmark
5 Associazione Italiana per l'Agricoltura Biologica Italy
6 Aarhus University Denmark
7 Norsøk Norway
8 University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna Austria
9 University of Copenhagen Denmark
10 Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economics Analysis - Fodder and Dairy Productions Research Centre Italy
11 Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology - Centre de Recerche Public Gabriel Lippmann Luxembourg
12 Inagro VZW Belgium
13 French National Institute for Agricultural Research France
14 Technical Institute for Organic Farming France
15 Institute for Sustainable Development Slovenia
16 JNK Plant Breeding Denmark
17 University of Kassel Germany
18 Lantmännen SW Seed Sweden
19 MTT Agrifood Research Finland Finland
20 Nordic Seed Denmark
21 Scotland's Rural College United Kingdom
22 Sejet Plantbreeding Denmark
23 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden
24 Technical University of Denmark Denmark
25 Technical University of Munich - Chair for Timber Structures and Building Construction Germany
26 SEGES P/S Denmark
27 Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture Germany
28 University of Udine Italy
29 University of Maribor Slovenia
30 Ghent University Belgium
31 Oikos, Organic Norway Norway
32 Forschungsinstitut fur Biologischen Landbau (FIBL)† Switzerland
33 Graminor† Norway
34 Estonian Crop Research Institute (ECRI)† Estonia
35 Organic Seed Producers (OSP)† United Kingdom
36 State Priekuli Plant Breeding Institute (SPBI –Priekuli)† Latvia
37 State Stende Cereal Breeding Institute (SSBI – Stende)† Latvia
38 Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (AI-HAS)† Hungary
39 Saatzucht Donau GesmbH & CoKG (SZD)† Austria
40 Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NGB)† Sweden
41 Louis Bolk InstituutLBI (LBI)† Netherlands
42 Humboldt University Berlin (HU)† Germany