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Vija Strazdiņa

Development of new winter and spring wheat varieties in Latvia

The newest wheat varieties developed at the State Stende Cereal Breeding Institute are winter wheat ‘Fredis’ and spring wheat ‘Uffo‘ and ‘Robijs‘. The winter wheat variety ‘Fredis‘ (‘Donskaya Polukarlikovaya‘/‘Abe‘//‘Lowrin 24‘) was developed from 1986 to 2002. The variety has good winter hardiness (7-9 points), earliness (growing period 212-215 days from 1 January), and average yield is 6.0 t ha -1. Grain quality is suitable mostly for food. The variety was registered in the Latvian Plant Catalogue in 2007 and in the Estonian Plant Catalogue in 2011. In the period from 1992 to 2007, the new spring wheat variety ‘Uffo‘ (Sigma/Eta) was created. Variety ‘Uffo‘ is a mid-early variety, with yield potential 6-8 t ha-1, and moderate lodging resistance (5-7 points). Grain quality is suitable for food and feed. The variety ‘Uffo‘ was included in the Latvian Plant Catalogue in 2008 and in the Estonian Plant Catalogue in 2009. The spring wheat variety ‘Robijs‘, obtained from the crossing combinations Dragon/Anninia//Fasan//Fasan by anther culture, was developed at the State Stende Cereal Breeding Institute in collaboration with the Institute of Biology Latvian University from 2000 to 2007. The variety is a middle-early wheat, and is characteriszed by high yield potential (6-8 t ha-1), moderate resistance to lodging (7 points). It has moderate resistance to powdery mildew (3-5 point) and brown rust (10-25%). The grain quality is suitable for food. The variety was included in the Latvian Plant Catalogue in 2011.

Open access

Vija Strazdiņa

History of wheat breeding in Latvia

A gene pool of Latvian winter and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has been created over a very long period, by collection, evaluation and selection of local genetic resources, and investigation of varieties and breeding lines from other countries in the world. It is not only a historical collection, but also serves as the foundation for research and plant breeding. National wheat germplasm is the framework for creating competitive winter and spring wheat varieties of grain with high yield, resistant to lodging and diseases, and quality acceptable for producers in the Baltic agroclimatical region. In Latvia, from 1920 to 1990, the selected wheat varieties were not stable pure lines, but mostly population varieties. After accession to UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants), the requirements for new varieties have changed, and only distinct, uniform and stable varieties, characterised by high economical value are registered in Plant Catalogues. To implement wheat breeding programmes it is necessary to improve breeding methods by plant tissue culture and production of doubled haploids (DH). During 90 years, 16 winter and 11 spring wheat varieties of bread wheat (Tr. aestivum L.) have been created at Priekuļi and Stende and introduced in the market. The achievements of several generations of Latvian wheat breeders are reviewed in this paper.

Open access

Linda Legzdiņa, Vija Strazdiņa, Indra Beinaroviča and Ruta Muceniece


About half of the human population suffers from deficiency of mineral elements, mostly iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). The purpose of the research was to compare the concentration of Fe and Zn in grain of 19 spring barley (in Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes and the concentration of Zn and manganese (Mn) in grain of 19 winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes grown in organic and conventional management systems during two growing seasons. The average concentration of Fe in barley ranged from 32.51-86.85 mg·kg-1 and was higher under conventional management (p < 0.001); the effect of genotype was significant (p = 0.014). The average concentration of Zn in barley ranged 16.79-48.51 mg·kg-1 and was significantly higher under the organic system (p < 0.001); in wheat it was 21.52-29.89 mg·kg-1 with no difference between the management systems; the effect of genotype was significant (p = 0.03 and p < 0.001 for barley and wheat, respectively). The average concentration of Mn in wheat ranged from 24.63-36.07 mg·kg-1 and was higher under the conventional system (p < 0.001); significant differences between genotypes were observed (p < 0.001). Barley and wheat genotypes with higher concentrations of the investigated elements were identified for use in breeding for improvement of grain quality. Zn concentration correlated negatively with grain yield and positively with grain protein concentration.

Open access

Dainis Ruņgis, Ilze Gaile, Ilze Veinberga, Sanita Zute, Vija Strazdiņa, Māra Bleidere and Arta Kronberga

Use of DNA markers for cereal line uniformity assessment

Prior to the registration of a new variety, it is required to undergo Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) testing. Preparing a newly developed variety to meet the requirements of DUS testing is a lengthy process, particularly regarding aspects of uniformity and stability. Field testing of a large number of lines is time and resource intensive. In addition, the expression of certain traits may be influenced by environmental conditions. The use of DNA markers may allow rapid assessment of the level of genetic diversity within a particular line or variety, and to remove individuals that are genetically differentiated, thus accelerating the homogenisation of a newly developed variety. In this study, we utilised AFLP and the iPBS marker techniques to assess genetic variation within advanced breeding lines of several cereal species (triticale, wheat, barley). The combined use of molecular and morphological selection over three years of analysis and selection resulted in the reduction of genetic diversity within breeding lines.

Open access

Arta Kronberga, Linda Legzdiņa, Vija Strazdiņa and Zaiga Vicupe


One of key questions in breeding for organic agriculture is about most appropriate selection environment. A successful man-made cereal species, triticale (Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus.) - is very suitable for growing in organic crop management systems but little research has been conducted on breeding triticale for organic agriculture. Field trials were carried out in Priekuïi during 2009-2012. One hundred F4 winter triticale lines were sown in conventionally and organically managed fields. Selection of the approximately ten best lines in each environment, according to breeders’ opinion with respect to suitability for organic conditions, was made. The selected lines were compared in both organic and conventional fields. The study did not show that there was a need to create varieties for organic farming by selection of triticale in the initial generations in organic fields.

Open access

Vija Strazdiṇa, Indra Beinaroviča, Linda Legzdiņa and Arta Kronberga

Employing cereal genetic variation in breeding programmes for organic farming is one of the ways to create varieties with higher stability and adaptability. The aim of the study was to compare and evaluate grain yield, quality and other traits of barley pure lines, hybrid populations, variety mixtures, as well as winter wheat hybrid populations and parental varieties, in organic and conventional farming systems. Significant evidence for advantages of using barley mixtures and populations under organic and conventional management systems was not observed. More advantages with respect to yield, adaptability to unfavourable environments and TGW were observed for breeding lines selected for suitability to organic conditions. Combination of distinctive genotypes may result in a fairly stable mixture with average yield above the components. The study confirmed that resistance of winter wheat genotypes to abiotic stress is one of the significant traits that is closely connected with limitation of the wheat productivity in both growing conditions. Yield and grain quality value of winter wheat genotypes was lower under organic conditions compared to a conventional growing system. Advantages of populations were not observed under organic conditions, but significantly higher yield, in comparison to parental varieties, was obtained for two populations in conventional conditions. In general, the yield of populations was intermediate to that of the parents.

Open access

Dace Piliksere, Vija Strazdiņa, Zaiga Vīcupe, Zaiga Jansone, Linda Legzdiņa, Indra Beinaroviča and Arta Kronberga

The objectives of the investigation were to identify competitive traits in cereal species in order to contribute to development of a methodology for evaluation of cereal genotypes for their competitive capacity against weeds, which is important for organic breeding aims. The investigation was carried out with spring barley, spring oat, winter triticale and winter wheat genotypes in organic crop rotations in two different locations. Relations between crop traits and weed dry weight were evaluated by Pearson correlation coefficients. The results stressed the significance of some crop traits for cereal competitiveness against weeds for organic breeding purposes: (i) growth habit, canopy height, and crop development rate for spring barley; (ii) crop development rate for spring oats; (iii) winter hardiness and the coefficient of tillering for winter triticale, and (iv) winterhardiness, the coefficient of tillering, the number of productive stems, crop canopy and plant height for winter wheat. It coud be useful to include measurements of crop ground cover for estimating competitiveness of cereal species against weeds