The aim of the Allium research group is the exploitation of genetic variation in the genus Allium to enable the breeding of cultivars for a durable Allium production chain, mainly onion and leek

Genetics Research Allium

The Allium research focuses on the interface between molecular genetics, disease resistance and quality traits. The research will result in the development of marker based breeding programs aimed at the development of healthier crops, higher yields and sustainable production. In addition, markers linked to resistance to the fungi causing Fusarium basal rot and Botrytis leaf spot in onion have been identified. Also research is carried out with onions to study whether the breeding for improved responsiveness to arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AM) and/or the rooting system will contribute to the growth of onions under low input conditions. The relationship between these traits and resistance to Fusarium basal rot will be studied. Finally, the use of AM fungi to increase disease resistance in onion is studied.

Genomics Research Allium

Onion has a huge genome (16GB). However, sequence information is extremely valuable for the identification of genes associated with important traits such as disease resistance and for understanding the underlying mechanisms. The onion genome project (Sequon) focuses on a de novo assembly of the onion genome. The availability of the onion genome will speed up onion breeding and lead to several innovations.

Leek research

The research focus in leek, mainly is on resistance to thrips.


  • Combating fungi that are a major problem in Allium crops during dry and warm periods.
  • Relationship between mycorrhizal responsiveness, rooting system and Fusarium basal rot in onion.
  • Thrips resistance in leek: development of screening assays, identification of sources of resistance and introgression of resistance to thrips in leek.
  • Onion genome sequencing project