A group of scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia have developed the world’s first ‘speed breeding’ technique that can boost the production of the crop by up to three times.
The speed breeding technique has largely been used for research purposes but is now being adopted by industry. In partnership with Dow AgroSciences, the scientists have used the technique to develop the new ‘DS Faraday’ wheat variety due for release to industry this year.
Inspired by NASA’s experiments to grow wheat in space, the scientists have used speed breeding techniques in specially modified glasshouses to grow six generations of wheat, chickpea and barley plants, and four generations of canola plants in a single year, as opposed to two or three generations in a regular glasshouse, or a single generation in the field.
The research team has conducted some of the key experiments that documented the rapid plant growth and flexibility of the system for multiple crop species. The researchers claim that the new technology could also have some great applications in future vertical farming systems, and some horticultural crops.