Triticale is a man-made cereal crop that can be synthesized by hybridizing wheat (AABB/AABBDD) with rye (Secale cereale, RR). Among the various types of triticale, hexaploid triticale (× Triticosecale) has been the most successful because of its superior vigor and reproductive stability. Triticale can be used as grain for human food and animal feed (mainly for pigs and poultry), as well as forage for livestock in the form of silage, fodder, grazing, and hay. In general, triticale combines the high yield potential of wheat with the biotic and abiotic stress tolerance of rye, making it more suitable for the production in marginal areas (acidic, saline, or soils with heavy metal toxicity). Despite having many advantages over wheat, global triticale production is still very low.
World triticale production in 2014 was 17.1 million metric tons. Top producers included Poland with 5.2 million metric tons (m mt) production followed by Germany 3.0 m mt, Belarus 2.1 m mt, France 2.0 m mt. (FAO Stat). Relatively low interest of Farmers’ for triticale is due to factors including production and quality concerns, lack of stable end-use markets, unfavorable pricing compared to wheat, political strategic decisions and competition from other cereals. Among the production factors, susceptibility to diseases, such as ergot, Fusarium head blight (FHB), and leaf spots, pose major threats. Poor end-use quality for human consumption as compared to wheat has been a major hindrance to widespread adoption of the crop. Specifically, the gluten strength of triticale is lower than wheat, which contributes to poor bread-making quality. Other production constraints include late maturity, preharvest sprouting, lower economic returns, lack of crop insurance coverage in some countries, limited research investment, lack of technology transfer, perception about triticale end-uses, lack of good-quality pedigreed seed, limited marketing options for farmers, and economic risks involved with triticale production.
Since the 1990s, many triticale cultivars have been developed that have gained widespread popularity across Europe. As a man-made crop, triticale relies on the incorporation of new variability though the creation of new primary and secondary triticale populations using various wheat, rye, and triticale accessions. Through germplasm exchanges, the genetic resources developed at CIMMYT and other breeding programs have become an integral part of modern breeding programs. To make triticale a successful crop, the primary objectives for breeding programs relate tolowering the production risks and costs of production, while increasing the economic returns per hectare. Production risks include losses due to various diseases and pests, and environmental factors such as weather-related damages. Enhancement of genetic variability in Triticale accessions through prebreeding, accumulation of favorable alleles in improved populations through recombination breeding, multilocation testing for adaptability have been the major strategy for triticale improvement in most programs. In addition, the use of doubled haploids can increase selection efficiency through the expression of recessive alleles in completely homozygous lines. Likewise use of genomics can further accelerate breeding efficiency for target traits through precise characterization of genes controlling traits of interests through reliable screening and selective gene transfer strategies.
Keeping these facts in view, EUCARPIA –Cereals section in collaboration with Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR), Radzikow, Blonie, Poland and International Forum for Sustainable Development in Africa and Asia (IFSDAA), Goettingen, Germany have planned to organize an International Conference on “Triticale Biology, Breeding and Production at the beautiful campus of IHAR, Radzikow, Poland from July 2 to 5, 2017.We cordially invite researchers from various disciplines, development functionaries and policy planners from public, private and NGO sectors to discuss above stated issues and draw a coherent strategy for strengthening Triticale Research and Development as an integral component of food and feed security. We believe that Triticale can play an in important role in sustainable crop production systems particularly in fragile environments and regions under the influence of climate change. We will be delighted to welcome you and your colleagues at Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute – National Research Institute (IHAR-PIB), Radzikow, Poland.
Prof. Edward Arseniuk
Triticale Group Leader,
Prof. Geert Haesaert
Dr. Andreas Boerner
Head of Cereal Section
Prof. Rishi Behl