Here you can download the pdf of some of the presentations in the EGF-Eucarpia Joint Symposium program. The files are grouped into zip folders according to the different sessions.

If you want to download all the currently available presentations in a single zip folder, click here.

The files are all named with the surname of the presenting author.



A youtube video with some impressions from the conference can be found here (Thanks to Rob Coy from PBS International for making this available)

A picture gallery will be available shortly

The conference dinner is planned on Wednesday, June 26th, from 19.00 at the Restaurant Lake Side in Zurich. The restaurant is easily reachable from the conference venue by public transport in combination with a pleasant walk along Lake Zurich's eastern shore (detailed directions will be provided to all participants). The dinner is included in the registration fee.


Pictures (C) restaurant Lakeside


Sunday June 23, 14:00 - 17:00

In this workshop, we introduce a unique new plant breeding decision support software tool DeltaGen (freeware), implemented in R and its package Shiny. DeltaGen provides plant breeders with a single integrated solution for experimental design generation, data quality control, statistical and quantitative genetic analyses, breeding strategy evaluation, simulation, and cost analysis, pattern analysis, index selection, and underlying basic theory on quantitative genetics. This software tool could also be used as a teaching resource in plant breeding courses. 

Participation at the workshop is free of charge but registration is required (during conference registration process).

Workshop details


27. June, 2019 from 1.30 p.m. to 29. June, 2019 ca. 6 p.m.


During the post-conference tour, you will have the chance to explore the Western parts and mountains of Switzerland. Starting from ETH Zurich on Thursday afternoon, we will be visiting a cheese factory in the Emmental region and learn about the famous cheese of this region. We will visit nearby trials with multispecies grassland mixtures. The first day will end in Murten, the place where we will stay overnight both nights. On Friday, we will be visiting the Agroscope research station at Posieux, the center for animal research. Further, we will be visiting the agricultural education institution of canton Fribourg in Grangeneuve and the seed trading company Delley semences et plantes (DSP). On Saturday, we will be going to the mountains of the Swiss Alps, having a boat trip on Lake of Brienz and visiting the open-air museum Ballenberg, a place giving you insight into rural history of Switzerland. Having another stop at a farm in central Switzerland, we will be arriving back in Zürich at approx. 6 p.m., including the possibility to stop directly at Zurich airport.

Click on this thumbnail to see a map of the area covered in the 3 days.

Photo source and further information.

Delegates have the possibility to follow official parts of the symposium program (the opening ceremony, the conference dinner and all receptions) and to join us for additional activities around Zurich. These will include a tour of the ETH main building and a guided visit to Zurich’s highly renowned zoo featuring a unique biome concept on Monday. On Tuesday morning we plan a guided visit to the Swiss National Museum. Since mid-conference excursions on Tuesday afternoon are part of the programme, delegates are asked to indicate their choice among one of the four excursions. On Wednesday, a full-day excursion to the famous Benedictine monastery of Einsiedeln with its black Madonna, set in a charming pre-alpine landscape, is on the agenda. After lunch in Einsiedeln, the journey will continue with a visit to the city of Rapperswil, before embarking on the ship bringing you back to Zurich in the evening. On Thursday, delegates will have the whole day at their own disposition.


Photo source and further information: here and here.

Click on the thumbnail below to see an overview of the Delegates program (the parts in red).


Swiss agricultural formation, extension and practice

Tuesday 25.06.2019, 12.50 - 18.30

Photo source and information.

Formation and extension are key elements to bring new knowledge into practice. After a half-hour bus trip, we will reach AGRIDEA , the Swiss center for agricultural advisory and extension services. There, we will get an insight into their main activities. At the agricultural school Strickhof Lindau, which is located just next door, we will get some insights into the Swiss formation system for farmers at the example of the canton of Zurich. Strickhof is offering formation at various levels and for various professions in the agri-food system. After a coffee break, we will visit Riedenholzhof , an innovative farm close to the city of Zurich, seeing how value of pastures and meadows can be realised via direct marketing. The farm is organic since 2001 and breeds water buffalos. Since 2004, it provides experimental fields for the organic forage breeding programme of Agroscope

Click on the image to view the map of the tour's locations.


Photo source and information: here and here

ETH Field phenotyping platform and AgroVet Strickhof

Tuesday 25.06.2019, 13.05 - 18.30


Photo source and futher information.

ETH’s field site at Eschikon, which we will reach after a half-hour bus trip from the conference venue, hosts the “FIP ”, a rope suspended carrier system for high throughput phenotyping. There, we will get an insight into this unique platform for automated phenotyping and three associated research projects. After a short coffee break, we will visit the newly built main site of AgroVet Strickhof , the competence network for animal sciences of canton of Zurich, ETH and University of Zurich, which is only one footstep away. We are going to visit the impressive dairy barn which can keep two separated herds, of which one herd is used for educational purposes and the other herd for research. We will get insight into the modern research facilities at the metabolic centre and be informed on ongoing research projects.

Click on the image to view the map of the tour's locations.


Photo source and further information.


Forage seed processing factory and trading company

Tuesday 25.06.2019, 12.50 - 18.30

We will visit the seed processing and mixing factory of UFA-Samen , one of the Swiss leading providers of forage crop seeds. We get insight into the production of a large palette of grassland seed mixtures, from wild flower mixtures for extensive meadows to intensive mixtures for temporary leys and turfs. After a half-hour bus trip, the excursion will start on a farm engaged in the production of seeds of various wild flowers. We will then visit the nearby facilities of UFA-Samen (including seed testing lab and gene bank) in Winterthur Niderfeld. In the centre of Winterthur, we will tour the 1,5 ha show garden and research site, before heading back to Zürich.

Click on the image to view the map of the tour's locations.


Photo source and further information.

Old town of Zurich and Agroscope Reckenholz

Tuesday 25.06.2019, 13.00 - 18.30

Photo source and further information

Starting directly at the conference site from ETH main building, we will have a guided tour on foot through the old town of Zurich, learning about its history and many other interesting details. After a short transfer by bus, we will have an insight into the activities at the Agroscope research station of Zurich-Reckenholz, one of the main research sites of the Swiss Federal agricultural research institute Agroscope. At four different stations, we will learn about the activities of (1) new forage crop cultivar development in the forage crop breeding group , (2) the development of high-quality seed mixtures for forage production in the group of forage production and grassland , (3) the control and certification of seeds in the seed quality laboratory , and, (4) the research on beneficial soil microorganisms in the group of plant-soil interactions.

Click on the image to view the map of the tour's locations


Photo source and further information


Four excursions are planned on Tuesday 25.06.2019 in the afternoon. Lunch bags will be provided to all excursion attendees. All the excursion will depart from and return to the conference venue, ETH Zurich.

Participants will be able to indicate 2 choices for the excursion upon registration. First choices will be assigned on first come-first serve basis.

The four excursions are (click on the link for more details):

  1. Old town of Zurich and Agroscope Reckenholz
  2. Forage seed processing factory and trading company
  3. ETH Field phenotyping platform and AgroVet
  4. Swiss agricultural formation, extension and practice


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Nina Buchmann, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Topic: Efficient and multi-functional forage production on sown grasslands

Tentative title: Multi-functionality of multi-species sown grasslands

Gerlinde De Deyn, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Topic: Plant-soil-microbe interactions in multi-species grasslands

Confirmed Title: Advances in understanding plant-soil-microbe interactions in multi-species grasslands

Authors: G.B. De Deyn, J.M. Barel, S. Dassen and L.B. Martinez-Garcia

Jørgen Eriksen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Topic: Improving sown grasslands and their management for future challenges

Tentative Title: Management strategies to improve the performances of sown grasslands

Trevor Gilliland, AFBI, UK

Topic: Collaboration between practice and research for practical advances

Confirmed Title: Revising official herbage cultivar evaluation to meet evolving EU stakeholder needs

Authors: T.J. Gilliland, P. Annicchiarico, B. Julier and M. Ghesquière

Linda Johnson, AgResearch, New Zealand

Topic: Breeding for improved plant-microbe interactions

Confirmed Title: Advances and perspectives in breeding for improved grass-endophyte associations

Authors: L.J. Johnson, C.R. Voisey, M.J. Faville, C.D. Moon, W.R. Simpson, R.D. Johnson, A.V. Stewart, J.R. Caradus and D.E. Hume

Isabelle Litrico, INRA, France

Topic: Efficient and multi-functional forage production on sown grasslands

Tentative Title: Breeding forage plant cultivars for the use in multi-species mixtures

Isabel Roldan-Ruiz, ILVO, Belgium

Topic: Molecular genetics and genomics for improved breeding of forages

Tentative Title: Advances and perspectives of genetic and genomic tools for research and breeding of forage plants

Andreas Hund, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Topic: New methods and technologies to assess plant traits, swards and forages

Tentative Title: Methodological advances, challenges and perspectives in the field of phenomics and sward monitoring

Collaboration between practice and research for practical advances

- What are the needs of grassland based systems from breeding?

- What are the needs of the sector with respect to mixtures (agronomy, ecology, economy)?

- Stakeholder involvement and participative approaches

- Collaboration between research, industry, extension and farmers

- Criteria and requirements used in cultivar testing: do they fit the usage of the cultivars by farmers?

- What criteria of forage quality?

- Testing cultivars for grazing systems; testing cultivars for other specific purposes (e.g. production of protein or secondary metabolites).

- Indexes to aggregate cultivar characteristics (e.g. pasture profit index)

- Controlling & quality labelling of mixtures: examples from different countries

- Strategies for mixtures adoption by the farmers

Plant-soil-microbe interactions in multi-species grasslands

- Symbionts, soil microbial communities

- Mycorrhizae

- Influence of plant-plant interactions on the rhizosphere microbiome (nutrient cycle)

- Plant-soil feedback in multi-species grasslands

- Effects on ecosystem services

- Open to all types of multi-species grasslands (sown to semi-natural)

Breeding for future grassland challenges

- Plant microbiome

- Endophytes

- Pathogens & plant/community resistances

- Consequences for forage quality and animal health

New methods and technologies to assess plant traits, swards and forages

- Phenomics

- NIRS for forage quality and botanical compositions: from the lab to the field on more and more complex matrices

- High-throughput/automated/non-invasive phenotyping

- Modelling for the definition of ideotypes for mixtures