Maize Breeding Department

Breeding of maize hybrids and parental lines with not only outstanding yield potential, but also excellent adaptability, stress tolerance, resistance to pathogens and pests, and chemical quality making them suitable for various end-uses.

Scientific consultant, head of department: 

Use of sources of heterosis, development of inbred lines. Breeding of hybrids with low grain moisture at harvest and rapid drying down. Enhancement of yield potential by accelerating grain filling. Breeding of hybrids with better abiotic and biotic stress resistance. Selection of herbicide-tolerant genotypes. Testing resistance to fusarium ear rot after natural infection and artificial inoculation. Analysis of fusarium stalk rot. Identification of genotypes resistant to toxin-producing Fusarium spp. Analysis of the correlations between mycotoxin content and fusarium resistance. Selection of genotypes with natural tolerance of Diabrotica virgifera. Analysis of the chemical parameters of grain maize (protein, oil and starch content) as a function of genotypes and ecological factors. Quality analysis on conventional and leafy silage maize hybrids; measurements on the chemical parameters and digestibility of silage by means of NIR spectroscopy. Molecular breeding research; analysis of biochemical and genetic markers. Use of cytoplasmic male sterility in the development of inbred lines. Isoenzyme polymorphism analysis. Seed biology analysis. Analysis of the effect of UV-B radiation on maize in field experiments under diverse ecological conditions (Hungary, Chile); analysis of anthocyanin, carotene and chlorophyll content. Collection, characterisation, preservation and maintenance of genetic resources of maize.

Maize nursery at flowering, with isolated tassels (MTAATK)

Maize nursery at flowering, with isolated tassels (MTAATK)

Well-formed stand of high-yielding hybrid maize prior to harvest (I. Pók)

Well-formed stand of high-yielding hybrid maize prior to harvest (I. Pók)

Selected publications: 

Spitkó T, Nagy Z, Zsubori ZT, Halmos G, Bányai J, Marton LCs (2014) Effect of drought on yield components of maize hybrids (Zea mays L). Maydica 59(2): 161-169. WOS:000347359400021

Tóthné Zsubori Z, Pintér J, Spitkó T, Hegyi Z, Marton LCs (2013) Yield and chemical composition of plant parts of silage maize (Zea mays L) hybrids and their interest for biogas production. Maydica 58(1): 34-41. WOS:000209182800004

Berzy T, Záborszky S, Varga P, Hegyi Zs, Pintér J (2013) Seedling vigour and seed deterioration in case of some maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes. Advanced Crop Science 3(3): 218-224. ISSN: 2322-4282

Nagy Z, Németh E, Guóth A, Bona L, Wodala B, Pécsváradi A (2013) Metabolic indicators of drought stress tolerance in wheat: Glutamine synthetase isoenzymes and Rubisco. Plant Physiol Bioch. 67: 48-54. doi:10.1016/j.plaphy.2013.03.001

Pintér J, Glenn F, Pen S, Pók I, Hegyi Zs, Tóthné Zsubori Zs, Hadi G, Marton LCs (2011) Utilizing Leafy genes as resources in quality silage maize breeding. Maydica 56(3): 243-250. WOS:000303962200005

Marton LC , Szőke CS, Pintér J, Bodnár E (2009) Studies on the tolerance of maize hybrids to western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte). Maydica 54(2-3): 217-220. WOS:000274052700007

Szőke CS, Rácz F, Spitkó T, Marton LCS (2009) Dates on the fusarium stalk rot. Maydica 54(2-3): 211-215. WOS:000274052700006

Nagy E, Tímár I, Hegyi Zs, Spitkó T, Marton LCs (2009) SSR markers as tools in maize breeding for high starch content. Maydica 54: 253-257. WOS:000274052700012

Marton LC, Árendás T, Bónis P, Nagy E, Lap DQ, Berzsenyi Z (2007) Drying down after physiological maturity. Maydica 52: 319-324. WOS:000251638100016

Spitkó T, Sági L, Pintér J, Marton LCs, Barnabás B (2006) Haploid induction capacity of maize (Zea mays L.) lines of various origin and of their hybrids. Maydica 51(3-4): 537-542. WOS:000242947400012

Products and services offered by the department: 

The breeding work underway in the department for more than 60 years has resulted in the state registration of over 250 maize hybrids, 80 of which are still included in the EU variety list. In addition, hybrids bred in Martonvásár have also been registered in many non-EU countries (Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey).

The varieties most popular at present are as follows:

Early grain hybrids: Mv170, Masuk, Mv270, Mv251, Bodrog, Mv255, Amanita, Mv277, Lenacorn, Ivola;

Mid-season grain hybrids: Hunor, Mv350, Mv343, Mv Tarján, Mv Koppány, Gazda, Miranda, Danietta;

Late grain hybrids: Mv500, Maros, Maxima;

Silage hybrids: Megasil, Lactosil, Classil, Siloking, Massil;

Sweetcorn hybrid: Mv Július.

In addition to the hybrids, around 60 parental components have also been granted patents or plant breeder’s rights. Five patents have been registered by the staff of the department.

Cooperation with Hungarian and international partners: 

The department works in close cooperation with numerous other research institutes, universities and companies on various projects.

Scientists from the department are members of many scientific bodies and editorial boards both in Hungary and abroad. They are also actively involved in higher education, holding theoretical and practical courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students (BSc, MSc, PhD).

Lab assistant: