Czech–Norwegian synergistic activities on the genetics and breeding of fodder crops to mitigate impacts of climate change

02/2024 - 06/2024
Project number
Principle investigator
The initiative will aim in broadening of the existing collaborations and establishing new ones between researchers from Czech Republic and Norway dealing with fodder crops. The researchers collaborated on one specific project (Development of DArT array for Festuca-Lolium complex) about a 15 years ago.
Since then, researchers from both countries have met several times, usually during EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses section conferences without common activities. However, during the last conference, they found that they have shared interest in the research topics and would like to re-establish collaboration on the genetics and breeding of fodder crops, biodiversity needs and incorporation of minor species and hybrids in breeding practice and farming.
This initiative can therefore serve as an excellent platform for such reestablished collaboration. Two main partners (NMBU and IEB) display both common and complementary expertise: flow cytometry, cytogenetics, genomics and transcriptomics (IEB) and gene cloning, genetic diversity analyses and transcriptomics and proteomics (NMBU). Both institutions conducts both basic and applied research activities, perform prebreeding and field trials and collaborate extensively with forage breeders and applied research institutions.
The ultimate goal of the initiative will be the establishment of the working group, which will prepare and submit the project proposal to one of the EU Horizon calls. The call has not been selected yet, however, the topics on the implementation of minor crops in breeding and farming, utilization of interspecific hybridization and polyploidy in forage breeding, biodiversity needs, and improvement of fodder crops production using
state-of-art technologies will be targeted.
Overall, the initiative will help to establish the collaboration between two Norwegians and four Czech Institutions dealing with the research and breeding of forage crops. Collaborative activities and exchange of knowledge and knowhow is a key factor in the development of new breeding material and implementation of new approaches to do so. It is worth to mention that permanent grassland is the key agricultural landscape in Norway and forage
(both for grazing and silage) is also one of the key areas of Czech agriculture. Thus, collaboration of the researchers and breeders from both countries are highly beneficial to keep a pace in breeding and implementing new materials with the tempo of drastic climatic changes appearing in the last years.

 Detailed agenda (programme) including time schedule of the initiative:


•                    February 1st: start of the initiative

•                    February 1st to February 7th: establishment of webpage of the initiative within the webpages of the applicant (Institute of Experimental Botany)

•                    February 1st to March 11th: preparation of the first (kick-off) workshop, preparation of the presentations

•                    March 17th to March 20th: visit of the Czech partners to Norway

•                    March 18th-19th: the first (kick-off) workshop

•                    March 20th-31th: publishing the report from the first workshop on the webpage of the initiative

•                    April 1st to April 30th: preparation of a paper about the project and the common activities of the participating organizations and its publication in one of the popular-scientific magazines printed in Czech Republic (Agrární obzor, Úroda, Vesmír or Živa)

•                    April 16th to May 30th: seeking for the suitable Horizon calls, elaborating of the ideas for the future project by individual participants

•                    May 10th and May 31st: two online meetings of all participants – presenting and summarizing of the ideas for the topics of Horizon calls

•                    May 1st to June 3rd: preparation of the second workshop, preparation of the presentations

•                    June 3rd to 5th visit of the Norwegian partners to Czech Republic

•                    June 4th: the second workshop

•                    June 6th-15th: publishing the report from the second workshop on the webpage of the initiative

•                    June 30th: end of the initiative