Plant Breeding


ASUR PLANT BREEDING creates conventional winter wheat varieties primarily for the French market, but has also registered varieties from Western to Central Europe, and beyond in Chile and New Zealand.



ASUR PB is by far the most important breeder of hybrid wheat worldwide, having registered more than 30 varieties in Europe since 2002, when it acquired the Hybrinova program and Croisor® technology from DuPont.

The creation of a hybrid wheat variety

The first step is to create parent lines, especially father lines with a good ability to cross-pollinate. In addition, ASUR PB looks for existing material from various wheat breeding partners that could be used as potential parents, especially mother lines with high yield potential. Molecular breeding is used to segregate heterotic pools in order to increase heterosis and stack beneficial genes in hybrids.

From experimental crosses to variety registration

Each year 1,500 to 2,000 new combinations are produced in crossing blocks. Experimental hybrids are tested during 3 to 4 years for grain and biomass yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and quality. Eventually 4 to 6 new hybrids will be entered annually into official trials for National List registration in some European countries. Currently ASUR PB has varieties registered, or in official trials, in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Moldavia, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

Development of hybrid wheat across Europe

Hybrid varieties tend to fit much better than inbred lines to a large geography, meaning a variety listed in France is likely to fit to a very wide area. For instance, HYSTAR is marketed from Portugal to Poland and from England to Romania.
Alternative genetic hybridization systems are being explored, which may complement the Croisor®100 technology in the future.



ASUR PB's hybrid barley program is based on a CMS hybridization system, whereby a male-sterile mother line is pollinated by a male line carrying a gene that will restore full fertility in the hybrid. At this moment ASUR PB is focusing on 6-row feed winter types, but malting quality types are under study.