Biotech Updates

Space Age Plant Breeding Paves the Way for Future Crops

January 17, 2018

Scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ) got the inspiration to develop the world's first 'speed breeding' procedures from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) experiments that involved using continuous light on wheat triggering early reproduction in the plants.

Speed breeding technique which aims to cut the length of plant breeding cycles, has been used largely for research purposes, but is now being adopted by industry. UQ scientists, in partnership with Dow AgroSciences, have used the technique to develop the new ‘DS Faraday' wheat variety due for release to industry in 2018.

According to UQ Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Senior Research Fellow Dr. Lee Hickey, DS Faraday is a high protein, milling wheat with tolerance to pre-harvest sprouting. Dr. Hickey explained that genes for grain dormancy were introduced, so it can better handle wet weather at harvest time, a problem that wheat scientists in Australia have been trying to solve for more than 40 years.

For more information, read the news releases from UQ News and QAAFI.