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KMETIJSKI INSTITUT SLOVENIJE
Agricultural institute of Slovenia
Hacquetova ulica 17
SI-1000 Ljubljana 
Slovenia

VAT number: SI23887729

Tel.: +386 1 28 05 262
Fax: +386 1 28 05 255 

info@kis.si

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The Crop and Seed Science Department covers research in the field of plant breeding and genetics, physiology and technology of field, fodder and vegetable crop production. Emphasis is given to the environment and to humans and animals friendly production. The Department participates in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The expert work consists of projects covering the introduction of new agricultural plant varieties, evaluation of varieties in different agro-ecological conditions and co-ordination of the centre for vegetable growing and five vegetable growing stations in Slovenia. Under the auspices of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, official field trials are performed. Beside this, quality analyses of seed material and control of seed production are carried out. 


RESEARCH WORK

Plant Breeding and Genetics 

Research work is directed towards diversity studies of genetic resources of legumes, grasses, solanaceous, cruciferous, liliaceous and asteraceous plants, mapping of quantitative and qualitative traits, and breeding using morphological, biochemical and DNA markers.

Breeding has a long tradition at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. 36 varieties of potato, grasses, clovers, beans, cabbage and wheat have been bred at the Institute. In our breeding programme priority is given to the pest and disease resistance, better quality and adaptability to the Slovenian climatic conditions. 

In frame of the Crop and Seed Science Department the Slovene Plant Gene Bank pursues its activity. The goal and mission of the programme is to collect, evaluate, map, conserve and multiply Slovene autochthonous genetic resources and their wild relatives. Within the research part of the programme we evaluate and study autochthonous varieties, old varieties and wild relatives of species important for agriculture that are stored in the central gene bank. 

Production Technology and Physiology of Plant Nutrition 

Agrotechnical trials are conducted to study the influence of different types of crop rotation on quantity and quality of yield, to study various technologies of seed production of fodder plants and different vegetable production technologies like direct seeding and planting, use of different plastics as a ground cover and fertilisation with nitrogen. 

In the programme dealing with organic production a sustainable use of genetic resources, suitable varieties and species as well as technologies and techniques of protection against weeds, diseases and pests, crop rotation and monitoring of production costs on farms have been introduced. We are evaluating the influence of different quantities of mineral fertilisers, primarily nitrogen, on quantity and quality of yield, and their influence on processing ability and storage stability in fertilisation trials. 


EXPERT WORK 

Introduction of new varieties of field crops and vegetables is a long term project that started 35 years ago through Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. The primary purpose of this project is a permanent study and monitoring of the major economic characteristics of field crop and vegetable varieties in the rather heterogeneous growing conditions of Slovenia, but with the new legislation that was passed, it was replaced by projects, in frame of testing the economic value of field crops, for the purpose of inscription on the Slovene Variety List, and special testing of field crops and vegetables for Descriptive Variety List. 

Testing the economic value of some agricultural plant species is a basic condition for the registration or entry of a variety on the Variety List. The main purpose and goal of testing the economic value for the production and use is to establish whether varieties standing as candidates for the inscription in the Variety List are suitable for the production in the Slovene conditions. 

The Law on Agriculture and the Law on Seed Material of Agricultural Plants define the special testing of varieties as a public service in the field of seed production following the prescribed procedures and methods. The purpose of the service is to acquire - by using a systematic testing - all the necessary data that are relevant for different types and fields of production in order to increase the economy of production. Data acquired by means of special testing will be used for the creation of Descriptive Variety List. In the future, special testing of varieties for Descriptive Variety List will include some varieties from the Common Catalogue of EU Varieties which will be marketed in Slovenia. 

Department is co-ordinating the working programme of the centre for vegetable growing and five stations in Celje, Novo mesto, Nova Gorica, Koper and Logarovci. 

Agricultural schools and Agricultural Advisory Service are involved in the implementation of expert projects. Publications and lectures are prepared by the Department staff members who also participate in extension work with vegetable growers, forage, maize, small grain and seed producers. 


SERVICES 

As an ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) member the seed laboratory at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia is the only one in the country authorised and accredited to carry out analyses of imported and exported seed; it carries out analyses of seeds involved in inland seed trade, super-analyses required by inspection service, analyses of forage, planting material, physical analyses for flour-milling industry and analyses of forest seeds. The laboratory is equipped for detection of virus infections on the basis of serological analyses, analyses of genetic purity and genuineness and for detection of genetically modified seeds in conventional seed lots. 


The laboratory is also qualified for determination of presence of genetically modified plants and is a member of ENGL (European Network of GMO Laboratories), a European network of laboratories engaged in testing of genetically modified organisms. 
 

 

Seed certification for potatoes and vegetables is carried out according to the international rules. For maize, sorghum, cereals, fodder plants, fibrous and oil plants, OECD certification schemes are used for seeds in the international trade. The basic purpose and goal is to carry out official certification of seed material of agricultural plants conforming to the Law on Seed Material of Agricultural Plants and its implementation regulations. This project will be performed by authorisation of Phytosanitary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. A certification organ will ensure a procedure of official certification of seed material of field and vegetable crops. The phases in the procedure of official certification include expert and sanitary inspections in the field, sampling of seed lots, quality analysis in accordance with ISTA methods and, if required, health of seed material. 

In addition experts are controlling quality and health condition of seed potatoes produced in Slovenia and abroad. The quality control of domestic and imported seed lots is connected with the control of purity, genuineness and health condition of a variety in the field and in the laboratory using morphological, biochemical and DNA markers.


PRODUCTION AND EXPERIMENTAL FIELDS 

At two Experimental Centres situated in Jablje near Trzin and Moste near Komenda field trials are conducted to help carrying out expert work with field and vegetable crops and research as a basis for breeding programmes of grasses, clovers, grain legumes and potatoes. In both centres, there is complete equipment for evaluation of field trials and all necessary equipment for cultivation of selection and experimental fields.

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