Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

A Plant Breeding Makeover to Change the Whole Narrative on Crop Productivity

Ohalo, a company developing novel breeding systems and improved plant varieties that help farmers grow more food with fewer natural resources, has officially announced the launch of Boosted Breeding™, which happens to be an entirely new plant breeding technology that will revolutionize agriculture and sustainably improve crop productivity. According to certain reports, the stated technology comes decked up with an ability to unlock unimaginable yield, change inefficient agronomic practices, and increase the adaptability and resiliency of nearly any agricultural crop. Talk about this methodology on a slightly deeper level, we begin from how it empowers each parent plant to pass its entire genome to its offspring, rather than a random half of the genes of each parent. Once that happens, it transitions to possessing an expanded genome, which in turn, contains all of the genes from each parent. Such a mechanism should allow you, for starters, to combine beneficial traits. Like we referred to, in traditional plant breeding, parent plants pass on a random selection of half of their genes to their offspring, something which eventually makes it challenging to combine beneficial traits (like disease resistance or drought tolerance). The process entailing the same has, thus far, proven to be so complicated that it would sometimes take decades or longer to complete. Even then, it would require trade-offs in plant health and growth. Fortunately, the Boosted plants’ ideology addresses all that in one go by inheriting the beneficial traits of both parents,

Next up, we must get into the promise of dramatically improved health and growth. You see, leveraging a larger genome, Boosted plants are able to deliver improved genetic diversity, while simultaneously conceiving novel gene networks. These gene networks, once developed, will help plants become healthier, and at the same time, grow bigger. To give you rough idea of the same, overall yield gains of 50-100%+ have been observed during early trials conducted on the technology.

“The demands on agriculture have never been greater, with estimates that global food production must increase by at least 50% over the next 25 years, according to the UN,” said Dave Friedberg, CEO of Ohalo. “At the same time, crop growing regions are shifting, and food production is becoming increasingly more volatile due to changing weather patterns. Boosted Breeding will accelerate agriculture adaptation and increase productivity, helping crops survive and thrive in new environments while reducing the cost and footprint of agriculture.”

Moving on to presence of Genetically Uniform True Seed™, it basically unlocks scalable seed-based planting systems for crops that are vegetatively propagated, like potatoes, instead of grown from seed, The reason why the True Seed technology represents a significant detail is rooted in its ability to carry lower disease risk. Not just that, it also requires no more than a fraction of the cost and time associated with vegetative propagation.

“Boosted plants produce genetically uniform true seeds that unlock the ability to create entirely new seed industries in crops that farmers don’t plant from true seed today, like potatoes,” said Friedberg. “Over the next few years, we’re going to radically transform the way crops are grown, making new seed varieties commercially available for farmers with vastly improved agronomic systems, ultimately delivering improvements in yield, resilience and adaptability, and nutrition.”