In order to continue to develop new varieties with new or improved traits, our research and development teams need to be able to draw on a variety of different genes, gene variants, traits, plant lines, cultivars or wild species. The existence of the greatest possible genetic variability within a crop species is a crucial prerequisite for any kind of breeding.
Some of our research takes place in vitro, i.e. in a test tube. In vitro studies do not examine organisms in their natural context, but under experimental, artificial conditions. Biological experiments can be more effectively controlled in vitro rather than in vivo. For example, conditions can be influenced more easily and on an individual basis. The knowledge gained in vitro is then carefully checked and confirmed with another series of experiments in vivo before the new genetic variants are ready for the market and commercial cultivation.
Regardless of whether conventional or new methods are used, the objectives at the heart of all plant breeding remain the same: increased yield, resistance to diseases and pests, adaptation to external conditions such as climate and soil, good cultivation properties and, fundamentally, when it comes to medicinal plants for medical cultivation, the quality and quantity of the available ingredients.