Genetic Variation The research group on genetic variation is active in interspecific hybridization in the ornamental Alstroemeria using embryo rescue and unreduced gametes to eliminate the crossing barrier between different species. The fate of chromosomes is investigated by using molecular cytogenetics. The breeding of potato is complex because of its autotetraploid nature. The introduction by indirect selection and localization of traits, based on AFLP/RFLP analyses, from wild species is an important aspect using species hybridization, genetic analyses and localization of traits. Genetic Modification The research on genetic modification is mainly focused on cloning genes involved in starch biosynthesis, tuber initiation, tuber germination and deterioration of potato and/or cassava. Other important aspects are transformation of recalcitrant crops like cassava and Alstroemeria using particle gun and luciferase as detection gene. Introduction of transgenics in the field is accompanied by research answering biosafety questions. Selection Methods The research in the group selection methods focuses on increasing the efficiency of selection procedures with special emphasis on traits of complex inheritance, such as yield, yield stability and durable resistance to pests and diseases. Molecular markers are being used for both the 'dissection' of complex agronomic traits as well as for the development of marker-assisted breeding strategies. Experimental crops are spring barley and maize. Resistance breeding The research group resistance breeding mainly concentrates on mechanisms of resistance to fungal diseases and the exploitation thereof. The aim of the research is to broaden the insight in the function of genes in resistance to plant pathogenic fungi by studying the pathogenesis and the genetics of resistance.