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The first step is always the most difficult

History


1875
For the first time triticale is mentioned in a report of the Scottish botanist A. Stephen Wilson who succeeded in pollinating wheat with rye pollen. He was lucky to raise just two plants which as a matter of fact were sterile so that further multiplication was not possible.

1883 the American Elbert S. Carmann successfully grew a real hybrid from a cross between wheat and rye.

1888 the famous German plant breeder Wilhelm Rimpau managed to create a cross between wheat and rye. One of the four grains which he was able to harvest, was fertile. The plant grown from it yielded 12 germinating kernels, and Rimpau was successful in multiplying them, but without economic success.

1921 in Russia G. K. Meister in his breeding fields observed spontaneous pollinations of wheat plants with rye pollens from neighbouring plots.

1973 in France the technique to double the set of chromosomes by the use of colchicines was developed which came into use with many crops and which opened new possibilities in triticale breeding.

1968 in Hungary the first promising triticale variety (BOKOLO) was released officially, but which finally did not yield as high as expected. In the same year Tadeusz Wolski started his own triticale breeding programme, and laid the foundation stone for the success of triticale in Europe and many other countries in the whole world.

This is a short outline of the past history. Detailed reports will be found in: History .



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The Idea


Already in his younger years, Tadeusz Wolski had made a name for himself as a cereal breeder. After 1945 under the leadership of his mother Maria Wolska he had collected the breeding material of the traditional breeding company of his grandfather, A. Janasz, which had been active in plant breeding and marketing until the beginning of the Second World War all over Poland. Based on this material, he had bred new, very successful varieties of wheat and rye, for example the rye variety Danko (Dańkowskie Nowe) which had already become very successful in many countries worldwide.

During the vegetation period, dry periods are quite common in Poland, more often and more heavily than in Western Europe. A big portion of the rye harvested used to be used for feeding animals, especially pigs. Since rye, due to its contents, can successfully only be fed at limited extent, Wolski in 1968 started to breed triticale with the following targets:

1. to combine the yield potential of wheat with the resistances and undemanding nature of rye in one plant,

2. to develop a cereal adapted to dry locations, with higher protein content and a feeding quality similar to wheat.



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Tadeusz Wolski in a triticale field 



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The Masterpiece


Despite all preliminary work of his colleagues worldwide, the main problem still had to be solved: To cross two different species, and from this cross create a fertile and stable new species. In order to achieve this aim, he first produced different

Primary triticales by single crosses between

1. Common soft wheat and rye,
2. Hard wheat and rye,

and then crossed these highly different primary triticales between themselves, and in this way created

Secondary triticales.

This was a highly arduous way: A host of crossings was necessary, before first successes became visible. Furthermore, he created so called

Substitution triticales

by backcrossing primary triticales with common soft wheat which turned out to be a very successful method to increase grain yields in triticale. In addition, secondary triticales were crossed with substitution triticales. The diversity of the breeding methods developed by Wolski made an extraordinary diversity amongst triticale varieties possible, not only regarding the plants as such, but also in regard to their contents which is highly valuable for the different usages of triticale.

Nowadays, Wolski’s breeding methods are being used by the majority of triticale breeders all over the world.



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New Ideas

Wolski by far was not satisfied with his achievements. In 1982 he launched a second programme with the intention to breed short and highly lodging resistant triticale varieties which also are suitable for intensive cultivation on wheat soils. He used extremely short types of rye, so called dwarf ryes, from the eastern neighbouring countries which were known to be very tough and undemanding. The first varieties of this new generation have been released in the official variety lists of many countries.

In recognition of his outstanding successes for the benefit of agriculture in Poland where more than 1 million hectares every year have been grown since several years, Wolski was honoured and highly decorated as well as given the title of an honorary professor.

If you want to learn more about triticale breeding click General Information and DANKO


To continue, click: DANKO


 


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