Department of Cereal Breeding

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Department of Cereal Breeding


The main activities of the department are breeding and research aimed at developing new cultivars of various cereals (wheat, durum wheat, barley, triticale, spelt, emmer, einkorn and oats).

Research is carried out in the department in the following fields:

  • breeding of high-yielding wheat cultivars with good adaptability, suitable for bread-making;
  • development of wheat lines with wheat-enhancing or other special qualities (biscuit-making, or with white,  purple or blue grains);
  • breeding of winter durum wheat, winter barley, and spring and winter oat genotypes;
  • development of triticale, spelt, emmer and einkorn genotypes;
  • identification and development of wheat cultivars with disease resistance;
  • determination of the race composition and virulence of the wheat powdery mildew population;
  • selection of wheat genotypes with high fibre content;
  • identification and selection of wheat lines with modified starch composition;
  • characterisation and improvement of the frost tolerance and winter hardiness of cereals;
  • determination of the water requirements and water use efficiency of cereals, in relation to the dynamics of root development in individual cultivars;
  • preservation, characterisation and regeneration of lots stored in the Martonvásár Cereal Gene Bank, collection of new accessions and their utilisation in breeding;
  • testing of cereal genotypes under extreme growing conditions in the field in order to select cultivars with great stability in terms of yield quantity and quality, which can be recommended for low-input or organic growing conditions.


Selected publications: 

Rakszegi M, Mikó P, Löschenberger F, Hiltbrunner J, Aebi R, Knapp S, Tremmel-Bede K, Megyeri M, Kovács G, Molnár-Láng M et al. (2015) Comparison of quality parameters of wheat varieties with different breeding origin under organic and low-input conventional conditions. J. Cereal Sci. 69:297-305. doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2016.04.006

Rakszegi M , Kisgyorgy BN , Kiss T , Sestili F , Lang L , Lafiandra D , Bedo Z (2015) Development and characterization of high-amylose wheat lines. Starch-Starke 67:247-254. doi: 10.1002/star.201400111

Ward J , Rakszegi M , Bedo Z , Shewry PR , Mackay I (2015) Differentially penalized regression to predict agronomic traits from metabolites and markers in wheat. BMC Genet. 16:Paper 19. doi: 10.1186/s12863-015-0169-0

Shewry PR , Hawkesford MJ , Piironen V , Lampi AM , Gebruers K , Boros D , Andersson AAM , Aman P , Rakszegi M , Bedő Z , Ward JL (2013) Natural Variation in Grain Composition of Wheat and Related Cereals. J. Agric. Food Chem. 61: 8295-8303. doi: 10.1021/jf3054092

Corol DI , Ravel C , Rakszegi M , Bedő Z , Charmet G , Beale MH , Shewry PR , Ward J (2012) Effects of Genotype and Environment on the Contents of Betaine, Choline and Trigonelline in Cereal Grains. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60:5471-5481. doi: 10.1021/jf3008794

Sharma RC , Morgounov A, Akin B, Bespalova L, Lang L, Litvinenko M, Mustatea P, Ozturk I, Postolatiy A, Rajaram S, Braun HJ . (2014) Winter Wheat Eastern European Regional Yield Trial: Identification of Superior Genotypes and Characterization of Environments. Crop
Sci 54:2469-2480. doi:10.2135/cropsci2014.01.0028

Morgounov A, Haun S, Lang L, Martynov S, Sonder K (2013) Climate change at winter wheat breeding sites in central Asia, eastern Europe, and USA, and implications for breeding. Euphytica 194:277-292. doi: 10.1007/s10681-013-0968-1

Purnhauser L , Bóna L , Láng L . (2011) Occurrence of 1BL.1RS wheat-rye chromosome translocation and of Sr36/Pm6 resistance gene cluster in wheat cultivars registered in Hungary. Euphytica 179:287-295. doi: 10.1007/s10681-010-0312-y

Vida G, Szunics L, Veisz O, Bedő Z, Láng L, Árendás T, Bónis P, Rakszegi M (2014) Effect of genotypic, meteorological and agronomic factors on the gluten index of winter durum wheat. Euphytica 197:61-71. doi:10.1007/s10681-013-1052-6

Varga B, Vida G, Varga-Laszlo E, Bencze S, Veisz O (2015) Effect of simulating drought in various phenophases on the water Use efficiency of winter wheat. J Agron Crop Sci. 201:1-9. doi:10.1111/jac.12087