Department of Molecular Breeding

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Department of Molecular Breeding


The department investigates the genetic and physiological background of plant development and of resistance to various abiotic and biotic stressors in order to improve the adaptability of cereal species and to make the results available to breeders.

In the light of climate change it is of outstanding importance to carry out detailed studies on the genetic and physiological components responsible for the environmental adaptability of cereals and their tolerance of abiotic (heat and drought) and biotic (fungal diseases) stress, and to examine the genetic diversity of landraces and various cultivar collections in order to identify useful alleles. For this purpose a wide range of experiments are in progress under varying environmental conditions. Field trials are complemented by experiments in the greenhouse and in controlled climate chambers, where the effects of individual environmental factors can be studied separately and where stress can be applied in different stages of plant development. Phenomic analysis is performed on a wide range of genetic materials, on two-parent mapping populations and on GWA panels formed from cultivar collections in order to analyse the dynamics of growth and development, physiological parameters (photosynthesis, antioxidant enzyme systems) and yield components. Among the methods available to molecular genetics, routine use is made of QTL analysis for multiple traits in multiple environments, association analysis covering the whole genome and marker-assisted selection, together with the genomic technique of gene expression analysis.


Selected publications: 

Balla K, Bencze S, Bónis P, Árendás T, Veisz O (2014) Changes in the photosynthetic efficiency of winter wheat in response to abiotic stress. Cent Eur J Biol. 9:519-530. doi: 10.2478/s11535-014-0288-z

Balla K, Karsai I, Kiss T, Bencze S, Bedő Z, Veisz O (2012) Productivity of a doubled haploid winter wheat population under heat stress. Cent Eur J Biol.  7:1084-1091. doi: 10.2478/s11535-012-0097-1

Balla K, Rakszegi M, Li Z, Békés F, Bencze S, Veisz O (2011) Quality of winter wheat in relation to heat and drought shock after anthesis. Czech J Food Sci. 29:117-128.

Karsai I, Igartua E, Casas AM, Kiss T, Soós V, Balla K, Bedő Z, Veisz O (2013) Developmental patterns of a large set of barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivars in response to ambient temperature. Ann Appl Biol. 162:309-323. doi:10.1111/aab.12023

Kiss T, Balla K, Veisz O, Láng L, Bedő Z, Griffiths S, Isaac P, Karsai I (2014) Allele frequencies in the VRN-A1, VRN-B1 and VRN-D1 vernalization response and PPD-B1 and PPD-D1 photoperiod sensitivity genes, and their effects on heading in a diverse set of wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.). Mol Breeding. 34:297-310. doi: 10.1007/s11032-014-0034-2

Kiss, T, LE. Dixon, A Soltész, J Bányai, M Mayer, K Balla, V Allard, G Galiba, GA. Slafer, S Griffiths, O Veisz, I Karsai (2017) Effects of ambient temperature in association with photoperiod on phenology and on the expressions of major plant developmental genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plant, Cell and Environment, 40(8):1629–1642; doi: 10.1111/pce.12971

Dixon, Laura E, Karsai Ildiko, Kiss Tibor, Adamski Nikolai M, Liu Zhenshan, Ding Yiliang, Allard Vincent, Boden Scott A, Griffiths Simon (2019): VERNALIZATION1 controls developmental responses of winter wheat under high ambient temperatures. DEVELOPMENT 146 : 3 Paper: UNSP dev172684

Monteagudo Arantxa, Igartua Ernesto, Contreras-Moreira Bruno, Pilar Gracia M, Ramos Javier, Karsai Ildiko, Casas Ana M (2019): Fine-tuning of the flowering time control in winter barley: the importance of HvOS2 and HvVRN2 in non-inductive conditions. BMC PLANT BIOLOGY 19 Paper: 113 , 14 p.

Balla Krisztina, Karsai Ildikó, Bónis Péter, Kiss Tibor, Berki Zita, Horváth Ádám, Mayer Marianna, Bencze Szilvia, Veisz Ottó (2019): Heat stress responses in a large set of winter wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) depend on the timing and duration of stress. PLOS ONE 14 (9):  e0222639.

Kiss Tibor, Bányai Judit, Balla Krisztina, Mayer Marianna, Berki Zita, Horváth Ádám, Veisz Ottó, Bedő Zoltán, Karsai Ildikó (2019): Comparative Study of the Developmental Traits and Yield Components of Bread Wheat under Field Conditions in Several Years of Multi-Sowing Time Experiments. CROP SCIENCE 59: 2, 591-604.

Andras Cseh, Maria Megyeri, Caiyun Yang, Stella Hubbart-Edwards, Duncan Scholefield, Stephen Ashling, Ian King, Julie King, Surbhi Grewal (2019): Development of a new Am-genome-specific SNP marker set for the molecular 5 characterization of wheat-Triticum monococcum introgression lines. PLANT GENOME 12: 3 Paper: 180098, 7 p.

Cseh Andras, Yang Caiyun, Hubbart-Edwards Stella, Scholefield Duncan, Ashling Stephen S., Burridge Amanda J., Wilkinson Paul A., King Ian P., King Julie, Grewal Surbhi (2019): Development and validation of an exome-based SNP marker set for identification of the St, Jr and Jvs genomes of Thinopyrym intermedium in a wheat background. THEORETICAL AND APPLIED GENETICS 132: 5 pp. 1555-1570., 11 p.

Türkösi Edina, Darko Eva, Rakszegi Marianna, Molnar Istvan, Molnár-Láng Márta**, Cseh András** (2018): Development of a new 7BS.7HL winter wheat-winter barley Robertsonian translocation line conferring increased salt tolerance and (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan content. PLOS