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The sinflower breeding department of Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute – General Toshevo was established in 1966. DAI is the only breeding center of sunflower in Bulgaria. Since the beginning of research work on sunflower, over 50 varieties and hybrids of this crop have been developed. More than 15 are the joint hybrids registered abroad, which are the result from cooperation with our European partners.

The department has at its disposal a rich and varied collection of initial breeding material. Over 6000 are the self-pollinated sunflower lines we are working with; they include more than 2400 lines of normal cytoplasm (B-lines), 3600 fertility restorers (R-lines) and 300 CMS lines (A-lines). Annually 1400 new hybrid combinations are being tested in Bulgaria and abroad.

Main directions of sunflower breeding

  • Developing fertility restorer lines (R-lines);
  • Developing lines with normal cytoplasm (B-lines);
  • Developing sterile analogs of lines with normal cytoplasn (A-lines);
  • Developing of medium early and early (vegetative growth period of up to 95 days) imi-tolerant and sulfonylurea-resistant hybrids;
  • Breeding for resistance to economically important diseases and the parasite Orobanche


 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Galin Georgiev

Head of Sunflower Breeding Department;  galindzi@abv.bg

Higher education in agronomy at Agrarian University Plovdiv, 1994.           Additional qualification:

  • Economics and management at Agrarian University – Plovdiv, 1994 .
  • Teaching qualification in agronomy disciplines for secondary schools – Agrarian University – Plovdiv,

He started work at DAI in 1995 as agronomist in seed production and remained in this position untill 2006. The major focus of his work during this period was seed production of sunflower lines and hybrids and of cereal varieties.

In 2004 he completed his doctoral thesis on Study on the variation of some traits in sunflower lines (Helianthus annuus L.) in relation to primary seed production. He has been a researcher at the Sunflower breeding department since 2006. In 2016 he was given the academic title of Associate Professor. The main directions of his researchwork are breeding and seed production of sunflower lines and hybrids.

He is the main author of 9 sunflower hybrids and co-author of another 15. He has 55 publications in Bulgarian and foreign journals.


  • Георгиев Г., В. Енчева, 2014. Велека – нов български хибрид слънчоглед. Field Crops Studies,v IX-1, 79-87.


  • Georgiev G., Encheva, N. Nenova, Y. Encheva, D. Valkova, P. Peevska, G. Georgiev, 2015. Vokil – a new Bulgarian sunflower hybrid. Agricultural Science and Technology, volume 7, number 3, 287-292.


  • Georgiev G., V. Encheva, N. Nenova, Y. Encheva, D. Valkova, P. Peevska, G. Georgiev, E. Penchev, 2016. Production potential of new sunflower hybrids developed at Dobroudzha agricultural institute – General Toshevo. 19th International Sunflower Conference, Edirne, Turkey, 441 – 453.


  • Георгиев Г., 2016. Характеристика на нов български хибрид слънчоглед – Габи. Field Crops Studies, 2016, vol. X-1, 103-114.


  • Георгиев Г., 2015. Характеристика на нов български хибрид слънчоглед – Велко. Научни трудове, Аграрен университет – Пловдив, том LIX, кн. 2, 133-144.


  • Georgiev G., 2016. Characterization of the Bulgarian sunflower hybrid Valin. Agricultural Science and Technology, volume 8, number 3, 183-188.


  • Galin Georgiev, 2018. Investigation on some traits of branched sunflower fertility restorer lines during the breeding process. Proceedings of International Agricultural, Biological and Life Science Conference, 2-5 September, Edirne, Turkey, 339-344.


  • Galin Georgiev, Aleksandar Piskov, 2018. Alpin – a new bulgarian sunflower hybrid. The 4th International Symposium on Broomrape in Sunflower, Bucharest, 2-4 July 2018, 187-197.


  • Galin Georgiev, Valentina Encheva, Yuliya Encheva, Nina Nenova, Daniela Valkova, Penka Peevska, Georgi Georgiev, 2019. Breeding of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) at Dobroudzha Agricultural Institute – General Toshevo. Field Crops Studies (2019) XII (2): 5-16.


  • Галин Георгиев, Александър Писков, 2019. Михаела – нов български хибрид слънчоглед. Field Crops Studies (2019) XII (2): 227-240.


  • Галин Георгиев, Сергей Карапира, Алена Илченко, 2021.“Енигма CLP“ – първият български Clearfield Plus хибрид слънчоглед. Field Crops Studies, XIV(1): 9-22.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniela Yaneva

Sunflower Breeding Department; valkova_d@abv.bg


Доц. д-р Даниела Вълкова ЯневаОбразование – висше, специалност „Агрономство“ – ВСИ „В. Коларов”, гр. Пловдив и ТСХА, гр. Москва, Русия

She is a graduate of the Agrarian University – Plovdiv with a specialty in Agronomy and of the of the Russian State Agrarian University “Timiryazev”- Moscow.

Придобита учителска правоспособност – ВПИ „К. Преславски”, гр. Шумен

She acquired teaching qualification at the Higher Institute of Pedagogy “Konstantin Preslavsli” – Shumen. Previous positions at DAI:

  • Translator (from/to English);
  • Senior expert – agronomist at the Genetic Resources Department;
  • Senior expert – agronomist at the Sunflower Breeding Department;
  • Chief assistant and Assoc. Prof. at the Sunflower Breeding Department;
  • Scientific Secretary of Sobrudzha Agricultural institute since 2017 .

She was given a Doctoral degree after completeing her Ph.D. thesis on Study on the species from genus Helianthus L. as sources of important breeding traits.

She is the main author of 2 and co-auter of 10 registered sunflower hybrids.

She has over 60 publications in Bulgarian and foreign journals refereed and indexed in world data bases.

 Research interests:

  • Breeding of self-pollinated lines of cultural sunflower;
  • Developing high-yielding conventional sunflower hybrids with increased oil content and resistance to stress factors;
  • Developing herbicide-resistant hybrids by combining conventional and bio-technology methods;
  • Developing varied genetic material – ornamental sunflower forms;
  • Use of intraspecific, interspecific and intergeneric hybridization for developing of variable initial material with valuable breeding traits.


  • Вълкова Д., Н. Ненова, Ю. Енчева, Г. Георгиев, В. Енчева, Е. Пенчев, Н. Тахсин. 2015. Проучване на хибриден материал, получен с участието на образци от вида debilis T.& G. Растениевъдни науки, год. LII, (4): 22-28.


  • Valkova D., J. Encheva, V. Encheva, P. Shindrova, M. Christov. 2015. Study of hybrid material originated from interspecific crosses with wild Helianthus annuus for resistance to diseases and parasite broomrape. Растениевъдни науки, год. LII, (4): 18-21.


  • Valkova D., G. Georgiev, N. Nenova, V. Encheva, J. Encheva. 2015. Hybridization between cultivated sunflower and wild annual species Helianthus petiolaris– Agricultural science and technology, 7 (4): 419-422.


  • Valkova D., N. Nenova, V. Encheva, J. Encheva. 2015. Creation of lines restorers of fertility originated from interspecific hybrids. Аграрни науки, АУ- Пловдив, год. VII, (18): 75-79.


  • Encheva J., D. Valkova, G. Georgiev, V. Encheva. 2015. Mutant sunflower line 103 RM developed by in vitro mutagenesis of genotype 249 R. Аграрни науки, АУ- Пловдив, год. VII (18): 67-74.


  • Вълкова Д., Н. Ненова, В. Енчева. 2016. Перспективни линии слънчоглед, получени чрез съчетаване методите на отдалечената хибридизация и ембриокултивирането. Field Crops Studies, 10 (1): 89-96.


  • Вълкова Д., Н. Ненова, Ю. Енчева. 2016. Хибридизация на културния слънчоглед H. annuus L. с дивия вид Helianthus divaricatus L. Field Crops Studies. 10, (1): 83-88.


  • Valkova D., E. Penchev, V. Encheva. 2017. Hybridization between cultivated sunflower and wild species Helianthus praecox & Gray. Растениевъдни науки, 54, (4): 9-13.


  • Valkova D., N. Nenova, E. Penchev, V. Encheva, G. Georgiev. 2018. Hybridization between cultivated sunflower and wild species Helianthus bolanderi Gray. Journal of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, 72, (2): 52-55.


  • Terzić S., M-C. Boniface, L. Marek, D. Alvarez, K. Baumann, V. Gavrilova, M. Joita-Pacureanu, M. Sujatha, D. Valkova, L. Velasco, B.S. Hulke, S. Jocić, N. Langlade, S. Muños, L. Rieseberg, G. Seiler, F. Vear. 2020. Gene banks for wild and cultivated sunflower genetic resources. Oilseeds and fats, Crops and Lipids (OCL)  27:9;


  • Valkova D., N. Nenova. 2021. Studies on some biochemical characters of hybrid forms, originated from wild Helianthus Растениевъдни науки, 58 (2): 74-78;


  • Valkova D., Encheva V. 2021. Wild annual Helianthus species as sources for resistance to some foliar pathogens on sunflower. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (5): 942–947.


  • Valkova D., Jecheva K., Kiryakov I. 2022. Response of sunflower genotypes to mid-stalk rot caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (1): 110–116.


Chief Assistant Georgi Georgiev

Sunflower Breeding Department; georgi_d4@abv.bg

Гл. ас. д-р Георги Петров ГеоргиевHe is a gradiuate of the Agrarian University – Plovdiv with a specialty in Agronomy, 2007.

He started work at Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute in 2009 as a research. He was in this position till 2012.

From 2012 to 2021 he had been an assistant at the Sunflower Breeding Department.,

Since 2021 he has been in the position of Chief Assistant.

In 2018 he completed his Ph.D. thesis on Study on the bilogical and economic characteristics of new sunflower lines (Helianthus annuus l.) and their hybrid combinations and acquired a Doctoral title. Research interests: Breeding of conventional, high-oleic, imi- and express-tolerant oil seed sunflower hybrids.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Нина Иванова Ненова

Sunflower Breeding Departmen;  nina_n13@abv.bg;

Доцент д-р Нина Иванова НеноваShe is a graduate of the Agrarian University – Plovdiv (1985) with a qualification of an engineer-agronomist and a specialty in general cropping, grain and forage crops.

She started work at Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute in 1985 as a researcher. The main focus of hew research work in that period were plant bio technologies, bio chemistry, breeding and seed production of sunflower lines and hybrids.

In 2002 she completed her Ph.D. thesis on Combining the methods of interspecific hybridization with in vitro techniques for enrichment of the cultural sunflower genome (Helianthus annuus L.) and acquired a Doctoral academic title.

Since 2008 she has been Associate Professor.

She is the main author of 5 hybrids and 4 lines of sunflower. She has over 75 publications in Bulgarian and foreign journals


1994  – six-month specialization at De Montfort University in Leicester, England, at Applied Biology and Bio Technology Department, funded by the TEMPUS program of EC on Plant transformation in sunflower.

2004  – six-month specialization at the Laboratory of molecular genetics of INRA – Montpellier, France, funded by MAAE – Viena, Austria on Use of molecular mathods of research in the field of genetics and breeding.

2005 – three-month specialization at the Laboratory of molecular genetics of INRA – Montpellier, France funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France under the ECONET program on Study of different Helianthus tuberosus populations throught microsatellite markers.


  • Nenova, N., Drumeva, M., 2012. Investigation on protein content and amino acid composition in the kernels of some sunflower lines. HELIA (Scopus), ISSN 1018-1806, 35, No. 56, 41-46.DOI:https://doi.org/10.2298/hel1256041n  https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.2298/hel1256041n/html
  • Nenova, D.Valkova, J.Encheva and N. Tahsin. 2014. Promising lines as a result from interspecific hybridization between cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and the perennial species Helianthus ciliaris (M-092)via embryoculture. Balkan Agriculture Congress, 8-11.09. 2014, Edirne, Turkey. Turkish Journal of Agricultural and Natural Sciences (ISSN : 2148-3647 (E)). Sp. issue: 2, p.p. 1654-1659. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/142320
  • Hristova, M., Nenova,N., Tarpomanova, H. 2010. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) study through a combination of molecular and biotechnological breeding methods. Genetics and breeding, ISSN 1310-4292, Vol.38, No 3-4, 187-193.
  • Друмева, М. И Ненова, Н., 2012. Ускорено създаване на ЦМС – аналози на перспективни В-линии слънчоглед чрез използване на биотехнологични методи. Аграрни науки, ISSN1313-6577, IV,11, 73-79.http://agrarninauki.au-plovdiv.bg/2012/13_11/
  • Ненова, Н., Георгиев, Г., Друмева, М., Пенчев, Е., 2012. Вокил и Велека – перспективни хибриди слънчоглед. Растениевъдни науки, ISSN 0568-465X, Vol. 45(4), 25-29. https://searchworks.stanford.edu/articles/edsagr__edsagr.BG2013000029
  • Nenova, N., Penchev, E., Drumeva, M., 2012. Biochemical investigations on sunflower lines (Helianthus annuus L.) and their hybrid combinations. Agricultural Science and Technology (Indexing: AGRIS (FAO), CABI, EBSCO-host, ROAD and DOAJ.), ISSN 1314-412X, Vol. 4,No.3,193-196.http://tru.uni-sz.bg/ascitech/3_2012/PS_7%20-%20Chemical%20composition,%20nutritive%20value,%20energy%20yield%20and%20feed%20units.pdf
  • Енчева Ю, Г.Георгиев, Н. Ненова, Д. Вълкова, Г-и Георгиев.2019. Създаване на линии и хибриди слънчоглед, устойчиви на хербициди. Растениевъдни науки, год. LII, No 4: 3-11, 2015. ISSN 0568-465X (Print) ISSN 2534-9848 (Online). https://cropscience-bg.org/page/bg/details.php?article_id=564
  • Nenova N., Valkova, V. Encheva, G. Georgiev. 2016. Comparative investigation of immature embryos growing of interspecific sunflower hybrids. Proc. 19th Int. Sunflower Conference,29May-3June,Edirne,Turkey,2016,pp.460-464. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Francisca_Castillo_Castro/publication/322498077_Seasonal_timecourse_of_expansin_expression_in_flowers_and_growing_grains_of_sunflower_Helianthus_annuus_L/links/5a5c0da3aca2727d608a2a68/Seasonal-time-course-of-expansin-expression-in-flowers-and-growing-grains-of-sunflower-Helianthus-annuus-L.pdf
  • Nenova N. New Bulgarian sunflower hybrid “LINZI”. Field Crops Studies, XI(1), 97-102.2018.ISSN:2535-1133(Online)ISSN:1312-3882(Print).http://fcs.daigt.org/bg/pdf/fulltext_XI_1_9.pdf
  • Nenova N.New perspective Bulgarian sunflower hybrid Deveda. Field Crop Studies (2019) XII(1): 9-16http://fcs.dai-gt.org/bg/9ISSN: 2535-1133 (Online)ISSN: 1312-3882 (Print)            http://fcs.dai-gt.org/bg/pdf/fulltext_XII_1_1.pdf
  • Nenova N., D. Valkova, E.Penchev. 2019. Analaysis of importatant indices in new Bulgarian hybrids Linzi and Deveda. International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research,2019,Vol.3,Issue3,505-509.ISSN:2602-4772 https://doi.org/10.29329/ijiaar.2019.206.15
  • Valkova, N.Nenova, E.Penchev, V. Encheva. 2019. Hybridization between cultivated sunflower and wild species Helianthus bolanderi A. Grey. International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research,2019, Vol.3, Issue 2,162-168. ISSN:2602-4772 DOI: https://doi.org/10.29329/ijiaar.2019.194.1
  • Нина Ненова. 2019. Съчетаване на междувидовата хибридизация с in vitro техники за обогатяване генома на културния слънчоглед (Helianthus annuus L.) Академично издание на АУ-Пловдив, 2019, ISBN 978-954-517-284-7, 179 стр. (монография).


Assistant researcher Maria Petrova

 Sunflower Breeding Department;  maria.petrovaa.1994@gmail.com

Ас. Мария Светославова ПетроваShe is a graduate of the Agrarian University – Plovdiv with a specialty in Agronomy from 2018.

  • In 2017 she became a BA with a specialty in Plant Protection.
  • In 2018 she acquired her MA with a specialty in Mineral nutrition and fertilization of plants.

She started work at Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute in the Sunflower Breeding Department in 2018 and worked as an agronomist till 2021. Since 2021 she has been appointed an assistant researcher in this Department. The main focus of her research work are the diseases on sunflower, downy mildew, Orobanche and phomopsis in particular.

In 202 she joined the Doctoral program on Plant Protection and is currently working on her Ph.D. thesis on Study on the grey spots of sunflower (Phomopsis helianti Munt.-Cvet et al.) in Bulgaria.

She is a co-author of the conventional hybrid Krasela, the only Bulgarian hybrid resistant to Orobanche race H.



Agronomist Plamen Petrov

Sunflower Breeding Department ; plamen.nedev1972@abv.bg;

Агроном Пламен Недев ПетровHe is a graduate of the Trakiysky University – Stara Zagora with a specialty in agronomy and a professional qualification in Production of sowing and planting material.

He started work at Dobrudzha Agricultural Institute – General Toshevo in 2014 as an agronomist.

His main commitments are primary seed production of sunflower lines, seed production of sunflower hybrids, implementation of demo trials.