High-performance plant varieties of vegetables, ornamental, medicinal and aromatic plants and in tree nurseries are of great importance for successful crop management in horticulture. The ornamental plant sector is strongly focused on consumers’ liking, resulting in a particularly wide range of species and varieties. New varieties in the horticultural sectors of vegetables and medicinal and aromatic plants are bred to guarantee high yield and good product quality. To secure a healthy cultivation and keeping pest damage at a minimum, all varieties in horticulture require a high resilience to pests and diseases.
The breeding of new varieties and their implementation into horticultural practice is controlled by legal regulations granting plant breeders’ rights and the admission to the national list. The legal regulations are implemented at the Federal Plant Variety Office. Prerequisites for a variety to be admitted to the national list are distinctiveness from other varieties, uniformity and stability (DUS testing). Based on our scientists’ expertise, the Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Urban Green is able to carry out the examination and evaluation of the resistance of selected crops for the Federal Plant Variety Office in the DUS examination.
The scientists and technical staff establish specific procedures for DUS testing and the investigation of different pathotypes of fungi and biotypes of insects. In addition, the Institutes’ scientific data and methodological experience are used to counsel the Federal Plant Variety Office on the elaboration and implementation of new guidelines and the review of existing guidelines.
Every year the Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Urban Green carries out the DUS examination for the Federal Plant Variety Office, testing different horticultural varieties for characteristics of resistance against a range of pest organisms, thus enabling the availability of new resistant varieties in selected horticultural crops. These values are tested in open field or greenhouse growing procedures. Besides morphological and phenological characteristics, DUS testing also includes the analysis of the varieties’ resilience to harmful organisms, which is particularly important for successful cultivation
National listing of varieties is a prerequisite for commercial marketing of agricultural plant and vegetable seeds. This legal basis serves to protect consumers and ensure that agricultural and horticultural industries are provided with high-quality seed and plant material derived from healthy, high-performing and productive varieties. Admission for ornamental varieties is also possible, but is not required for marketing.