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Wheat: From seed-to-seed in 8 weeks

A new speedy way of breeding crops, such as wheat, has been developed by researchers from John Innes Centre, University of Queensland and University of Sydney.

ScienceDaily reports that the team uses a glasshouse or an artificial environment with enhanced lighting to create intense day-long regimes to speed up the search for better performing crops.

Using the technique, the team has achieved wheat generation from seed to seed in just 8 weeks. These results have appeared in the journal Nature Plants.

This means that it is now possible to grow as many as 6 generations of wheat every year. This is a threefold increase on the shuttle-breeding techniques currently used by breeders and researchers.

Ruth Bryant, Wheat Pathologist at RAGT Seeds Ltd, Essex, UK, said: “Breeders are always looking for ways to speed up the process of getting a variety to market so we are really interested in the concept of speed breeding. We are working closely with the researchers at the John Innes Centre to develop this method in a commercial setting.”

The international team also prove that the speed breeding technique can be used for durum wheat, barley, pea, chickpea and canola.

Source: ScienceDaily

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