According to reports, scientists from Syngenta have published details of a breakthrough seed breeding process in the international scientific journal Nature.
It is believed that the technique of haploid induction could significantly speed up breeding. Although initially based around corn (maize) crops, with the mechanism triggered by a defect in an enzyme coded by the Matrilineal (MTL) gene, the work could have wide implications.
“Successful haploid induction is an often painstaking and costly process,” said Tim Kelliher, principal scientist, reproduction biology at Syngenta and lead author of the paper. “But this research is an important step in showing how gene editing can help us breed plants that produce higher yields, on a much more efficient time frame.”
“We know that investment in gene editing and crop genetics can help us create significant progress toward sustainable intensification of agriculture,” said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head of Seeds Research at Syngenta. “To be recognized by the scientific community for this work illustrates its importance to innovation in agriculture. It is a true honour and testament to the quality of our scientists.”
Photo Caption: The study identified the causes of haploid induction in corn
Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures