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About ACGG

IRTG 2843 – Accelerating Crop Genetic Gain – is the first international graduate school focussed specifically on modern crop breeding to be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The partner institution UQ provides matching funds for students and training activities in Australia. The first cohorts of ACGG students at UQ and JLU began their research and training in 2023, respectively. Other PhD students with breeding-related projects at the participating institutions participate in training activities as ACCG associates.


In the face of mounting challenges to global crop production, rapid technical advances in multiple scientific fields – for example genome sequencing, high-resolution digital phenotyping, artificial intelligence and gene editing – offer enormous potential for plant breeders to better understand crop adaptation and increase genetic gain for performance under suboptimal conditions. However, future plant breeding graduates need an increasingly broad repertoire of skills to implement all diverse technologies and methods in crop improvement. PhD students in IRTG 2843 are learning and applying different combinations of innovative breeding technologies to collectively improve genetic gain in important crops.


Data-oriented breeding

Projects in this area aim to develop novel "omics" datasets, simulation-based crossing designs, new breeding populations and integrated bioinformatics approaches for data-oriented improvement of breeding progress in faba bean and sorghum, as case studies for crops where rapid genetic gain is essential to quickly improve adaptation to central European conditions in the face of climate change.




Projects in this area aim to accelerate the generation of novel genetic diversity for important climate adaptation or seed quality traits by applying (1) speed-breeding techniques in combination with marker-assisted selection, genomic prediction or genomics-dsiegned crossing programmes, and (2) gene editing techniques to create novel genetic variants for selected target genes as a proof-of-concept for rapid trait transfer.



Genomic & phenomic selection

Projects in this area aim to generate and use high-resolution datasets in support of new selection strategies to improve the rate of stress adaptation, yield stability and grain yield in various major and minor crops. Methods tested in major crops where extensive genomic and phenomic datasets are already available will be adapted to minor crops where new breeding populations and datasets are being generated in ACGG.

Our Team

A multi-disciplinary team of experienced scientists and early-career researchers covering all areas of modern plant breeding research jointly supervises ACGG students in Germany and Australia. DFG-funded and associated students work on interrelated projects generating plant materials and datasets or developing and applying technologies to help accelerate genetic gain in various minor and major crops. 

ACGG partner locations

JLU Science Campus, Justus Liebig University, Giessen
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