Rye: Genetics, Breeding, and Cultivation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Genetics, Breeding, and Cultivation, 1st Edition

By Rolf H. J. Schlegel

CRC Press

387 pages | 66 B/W Illus.

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Owing to its considerable winter hardiness, rye is a cereal that played a major role in the feeding of European populations throughout the Middle Ages. Recent data shows that rye is grown on about 5.4 million hectares, with a world production of approximately 13 million tons. While still an important bread food in many countries, rye produced for bread making has decreased or stagnated, whereas production is increasing for other market segments. Particularly, rye for feeding, ethanol processing, and biogas is promoted in Europe.

The first comprehensive monograph on rye, Rye: Genetics, Breeding, and Cultivation gathers all the relevant and historic information from botany and genetics to utilization and sustainability of rye. The book covers taxonomy, morphology, and other botany-related aspects of rye. It describes its physiology, cytology, and genetics, including use for genetic improvement of other cereals. The author addresses various types of breeding such as population, hybrid, and molecular breeding. He also discusses rye cropping, including seeding techniques, fungal and viral diseases, and predators.

The book examines the various uses for rye beyond bread making. This includes feeding, biomass and biogas production, ethanol production, and other important characteristics such as phytosterol content and antioxidant activity. It also explores the nutritional value of rye. Written by a leading expert in the field, this monograph compiles the most important facets of rye research, past and present.

Table of Contents




Taxonomy and Cytotaxonomy

Gross Morphology

Root System


Flowering, Fertilization, and Apomixis

Rye Genebanks and Collections


Life Cycle

Cold Tolerance

Drought Tolerance


In Vitro Behavior

Preharvest Sprouting



Genome Structure

Chromosome Number

Karyotype and Homeology

Chromosome Pairing


Primary Aneuploids

Reciprocal Translocations

Genetic Donor for Other Crops


Nomenclature and Designation of Genes


Chromosomal and/or Regional Localization of Genes and Markers


QTL Mapping

Physical Mapping

Comparative Mapping

Gene Regulation

DNA and Gene Transfer

Cytoplasm, Cytoplasmic Male Sterility, and Restorer


Alloplasmic Rye


Diploid Rye

Tetraploid Rye

Dual-Purpose Rye

Breeding Activities, Varieties, and Institutions Worldwide

Rye Cropping

No-Till Rye


Diseases, Susceptibility, and Resistance

Growth Regulators

Incorporation in Crop Rotation

Allelopathic Effects


Allergenic Pollen


Nutritional Value


Bread Making

Biomass and Biogas Production

Catch Crop

Ethanol Production

Other Uses




About the Author

Rolf H. J. Schlegel, PhD, DSc, is a professor of cytogenetics and plant breeding with over 40 years of experience in research and teaching advanced genetics and plant breeding in Germany and Bulgaria. Professor Schlegel has authored more than 200 research papers and other scientific contributions, co-coordinated international research projects, and been a scientific consultant at the Bulgarian Academy of Agricultural Sciences for several years. He earned his master’s in agriculture and plant breeding and his PhD and DSc in genetics and cytogenetics from the Martin Luther University, Halle/S., Germany. His latest book contributions include Dictionary of Plant Breeding (2009), 2nd ed. (Taylor & Francis, Inc., New York), Concise Encyclopedia of Crop Improvement: Institutions, Persons, Theories, Methods, and Histories (2007) (Haworth Press, New York).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Molecular Biology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General