Third Newsletter February 2015
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February Editorial

Anders Borgen, WP1 leader
COBRA is a big European project covering several topics and involving many partners. Some people would say that COBRA is more like a research program than a real research project. For this reason, it is difficult to give an overview of what happens throughout the project, and I will therefore focus only on a few hotspots from WP1 re3lated to the “seed quality and health” topic. CONTINUE TO READ

Crop Report 2014: Wheat
Sally Howlett, Henry Creissen, Nick Fradgley, ORC, UK

     This report provides a progress update on the work being carried out on wheat as part of the COBRA project.Currently, trials of spring crops have had two full field seasons, whereas autumn sown crops have only had one, so many of the key results at this point are biased towards the former. Some of the key results and conclusions from the project to-date are listed below. CONTINUE TO READ

Crop Report 2014: Barley
Sally Howlett, Henry Creissen, Nick Fradgley, ORC, UK

WP1: Seed Health and Quality
     The State Priekuli Cereal Breeding Institute in Latviahave been carrying out field trials to assess grain quality and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress in 27 spring barley cultivars and 47hulless barley cultivars. Genotypes were assessed under high disease pressure with artificial inoculum of Ustilago and Drechsleragramine. CONTINUE TO READ

Crop Report 2014: Legumes
Sally Howlett, Henry Creissen, Nick Fradgley, ORC, UK

WP1: Seed Health and Quality
     Field trials in Lodi, Italy investigated the control of seed-borne diseases on peas using essential oils. Results have provided potential indications that artificial inoculation by anthracnose agents was very effective and the two pea varieties had contrasting response to the fungus, with one being moderately tolerant and the other being extremely susceptible. CONTINUE TO READ

COBRA in the University of Kassel_2013/2014

     In 2013, the University of Kassel (KU), Germany, received seed of the 8 cycling populations from each partner, as well as of the home populations maintained in Hungary and the UK. At the University of Kassel, three home populations have also been maintained and were used in the COBRA experiment. CONTINUE TO READ

Screening of wheat cross material and breeding lines in respect of susceptibility for bunt diseases an freshly infested and ecologically farmed fields

Robert Bauer, Benno Voit, Berta Killermann

Field trial 2013/2014 (first growing year)
     Weed control was carried out 5 times by hand. Harvesting was done by hand, i.e. the plants per row were cut, harvested, sacked and stored after drying. Infested plants per row were counted and taken out. From the total number of ears per row the percentage of infected ears was determined. The number of spores per kernel per line was analyzed by threshing the remaining plants by hand and by infecting them with the threshed infected ears. CONTINUE TO READ

Gaining experience through exchange with breeders and farmers: approaches of participatory selection of field pea in Italy 
L. Pecetti, P. Annicchiarico, M. Romani, CRA-FLC, Lodi, Italy

     In 2013 and 2014, CRA-FLC Lodi carried out an activity of participatory selection of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) in collaboration with the Italian Association of Organic Agriculture (AIAB) and the University of Perugia. This was probably the first experience of this kind on the species, which was chosen as grain legume of great potential for Italian environments, with considerable interest as protein source for organic livestock and with a variable response to organic conditions such as to justify the selection of varieties with specific adaptation to this use. CONTINUE TO READ.

COBRA stakeholder meeting on bunt diseases in wheat

Almuth Elise Muellner, Heinrich Grausgruber, Hermann Buerstmayr

During the last two decades, bunt diseases have re-emerged in organic winter wheat throughout Europe and have turned into a serious problem for organic farming. Whereas the predominantly seed-borne disease common bunt (Tilletia tritici, T. laevis) can be  managed by careful seed hygiene, control of the soil-borne dwarf bunt (T. controversa) is more  challenging. Currently, no bunt resistant and adapted varieties are available for organic farmingCONTINUE TO READ

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