Seed World

Small Changes Have Big Benefits for Crop Breeding

Researchers from the University of Western Australia have developed a new method for breeding crops that will improve the potential for long-term, sustainable genetic improvement.
In a world first, Wallace Cowling from the UWA Institute of Agriculture and his team have taken the breeding model commonly used by animal breeders and implemented it in self-pollinating crops.
Self-pollinating crops, or ‘selfing’ crops, are plants that are normally fertilized from their own pollen. Self-pollinating crops such as rice, wheat and other cereals, soybeans and certain vegetable-derived oils, account for more than 60 percent of world food calories for human consumption.
Coupled with new genomic technology, the new breeding method could speed up genetic improvements for desirable traits such as grain quality and yield.
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