Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The profile of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences involves complex, interdependent, basic, methodological and applied research projects culminating in practical applications. The basic aim is to use the internationally renowned germplasm accumulated in Martonvásár over the past fifty years, combined with up-to-date methods from the fields of genetics, physiology, cell and reproduction biology, functional genomics, biotechnology, plant breeding and crop production, in order to develop new, generic plant genotypes satisfying the future demands of society, and to carry out research on production technologies and the environment. To date 74 winter wheat varieties have been bred in Martonvásár, 56 of them over the last 15 years. Thanks to their traditionally good stress tolerance and quality, they are competitive not only in Hungary and neighbouring countries, but in all wheat-growing regions where the plants are exposed to cold winters and dry summers. Ongoing projects include an analysis of the agroecological equilibrium, the preservation and expansion of genetic variability, the production of raw materials for healthy nutrition, the development of durable stress resistance, and improvements in seed safety in order to meet the requirements of sustainable development. Beside the intensive breeding activities, as a part of the institutional network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Institute also focus on the basic research programmes, which are more or less related to the applied subjects. ARI HAS has one of the largest phytotrons in Europe, with 50 artificial plant growth chambers ideal for the simulation of global climate change. Investigations are underway in the phytotron on the probable effects of climate change. Using modern physiological, analytical and molecular biological techniques, one of the main aims of the biological research projects is to discover how cereals are able to adapt to a changing environment, and why some genotypes are tolerant and others sensitive to stress.
In addition to these complex research programmes, institute staff plays an active part in undergraduate and postgraduate education, in international scientific cooperation, and in the dissemination of scientific results and practical agricultural knowledge. The Institute already has an experience in the organising local and international meetings, workshops and conferences (for example, International Wheat Conference, 1998; Eucarpia Maize and Shorgum, 2006). Thanks to a recently won EU project (AGRISAFE) the Institute is also well experienced and equipped for small and medium scale trainings, workshops, and being close to Budapest, capital of Hungary may easily organise.