Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hybrid Plants Produce Greater Yields

Crops grown in the greenhouse by Grossniklaus and his team
Currently, research is being done into plants that reproduce through apomoxis, in which the parent plant clones their seeds and produces an identical offspring. Though this concept is not a new one, it has yet to be proven in the lab: until now. Professor Ueli Grossniklaus at the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of Zurich has proven this theory using apomictic seeds, Grossniklaus and his team managed to successfully clone a hybrid plant that had greater yield than traditional crops of that breed. As a result, the effects of the hybridization lasted two generations longer, leading to more fruitful harvests. The best part is that it is all natural.

Many attempts at breeding apomixis into a population of plants have been attempted, but often result in infertile, unsuitable results. This article details other methods of research that have been applied in the past.

As a side note regarding my previous article about the importance of refuge crops, this research could aid farmers who claim crop yields are a factor behind why they do not engage in the use of refuge crops. These breeding methods could ultimately benefit both farmers and consumers.

1 comment:

  1. This is some interesting research and would definitely be useful for future agriculture. The one thing I would be interested about is if the genetic clones would be vulnerable to things such as disease and fungal infections the more that they are used. This is definitely an issue with some plants like apples and bananas as we learned, so some caution may need to be taken in implementing this.