Scientists at Carlsberg Research Laboratory have invented an ultra-fast breeding technology for crops, which the brewer says will pave the way for crops of the future.
The non-GMO breeding method FIND-IT (Fast Identification of Nucleotide variants by droplet DigITal PCR) is expected to enhance yields, climate tolerance and quality of crops.
The research was published in the latest issue of Science Advances, Carlsberg added.
Improved Crop Varieties
The solution comes at a time when concerns around rising temperatures and a projection that the current agriculture yield increase rates of crops will not meet the food requirements of 9-10 billion people by 2050 are prominent.
Professor Birgitte Skadhauge, vice president of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, said, “It’s a known fact that we need crops in the future which, for example, have a better quality and higher tolerance for heat and drought stress.
"With our technology, we are able to screen extremely large numbers of crop [varieties] in a very short time and find a specific variant, that tolerates heat or drought better. Afterwards, the isolated variant can be bred into new improved varieties which are able to grow across the world.”
Carlsberg Research Lab
FIND-IT allows ultrafast analysis of many different types of plants, such as cereal crops, as well as microbes. It includes barley, yeasts and bacterial strains crucial for brewing, food production, and many industrial processes, the Danish brewer noted.
The technology accelerates the development process from laboratory to field evaluation and product development. It has strong potential for encouraging sustainable agriculture outside the world of brewing.
The brewer claims that the publishing of these results shows the work of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory and the Carlsberg Foundation, which has contributed with funding to the project, in finding sustainable solutions for the betterment of society.
"We are very proud that the Carlsberg Research Laboratory continues to build on its long scientific reputation with the invention of the FIND-IT methodology, which we believe will prove to be a groundbreaking technology that will empower researchers worldwide to address global challenges," added professor Søren-Peter Olesen, chairman of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory supervisory board.