Some of the most important crops for feeding the ever-increasing global population include wheat and barley. In order to meet the future demand, scientists have a task of finding ways to improve efficiencies in breeding these and other, similar plant species. Typically, more than 10 years are needed to develop novel cultivars with an advanced agronomic performance. On one hand it is because several generation cycles are required to obtain genetically stable lines from selected parent material and on the other hand it is because we are limited in how many generation cycles we can carry out annually.
Recent research has found a way to reduce the amount of time needed for new cultivar development. It is called speed breeding and with it the time needed for one generation cycle is cut in half. Tests were ran on wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), chickpea (Cicer arietinum), pea (Pisum sativum) and canola (Brassica napus). The findings show that it is possible to have up to 6 generations annually for the first five species listed and up to 4 for canola, as opposed to the 2-3 generations annually under normal greenhouse conditions.
Such results are pre-conditioned by the use of light spectra optimized for these plants. Valoya, the manufacturer of high-end LED grow lighting solutions has thus far conducted over 450 trials on 229 plant species / varieties and has greatly contributed to the development of the speed breeding techniques. At this session you will get an in-depth view of how to use LEDs to double the number of annual generation cycles.
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