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Scientists Develop New Breeding Techniques To Increase Productivity With Specific Wavelengths Of LED Lights

Jan 11, 2018

In an age of rapid population growth, food supplies have also become a major concern for all. The researchers expect the Earth population to increase by 2 billion by 2050, but there will be little change in arable land. In view of this, scientists can only find ways to improve the unit area of food production. For decades, researchers such as Yuan Longping have struggled to raise the front lines of hybrid rice production.

A study by scientists at the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland and the Johns Hopkins Center, published in the journal Nature Plants, said NASA had developed a new technology for rapid wheat breeding and stimulation from the "Space age".

Based on a space food production experiment NASA carried out more than 10 years ago, the technology relies on a strong lighting mechanism to increase the growth rate and health level of crops. Given the growing growth of crops on the planet's greenhouse, scientists have come up with low-cost, light LED lights at specific wavelengths to promote photosynthesis in crops.

With elaborate lighting, the team was able to produce six seasons of wheat, chickpeas, barley and four-generation oilseed crops in a year. In contrast, the average greenhouse can only grow 2~3 season crops every year.

It is reported that this technology also applies to peanuts, amaranth, lentils and other crops, sunflower, pepper and radish is also very promising. "At the moment we are using a high-pressure sodium vapor lamp in the greenhouse, which is quite expensive in terms of power demand," says Hickey.

In the paper, they proved that wheat and barley can grow under the density of 900 strains of M2, which combine the LED illumination system. This is an exciting opportunity and is expected to be extended to industrialized large-scale cultivation.

Hickey also pointed out that the rapid breeding technology can not only increase farmers ' production, but also improve the quality of crops. The research team compared the characteristics of plants with those grown under conventional greenhouses, with a significant increase in tiller number and yield per spike under new technology.

Dr Wulff points out that, although it has been able to produce food so quickly, the yield and health of crops has always been a "fish and paws can not be both" problem. But compared to standard conditions, the new technology has been able to do both.

He laughs that a colleague, at the time of his first testimony, could hardly believe there was such a good result: "Rapid breeding is a technology different from genetically modified, which is good news for people who have difficulty accepting GM."

But the research team also mentioned in the paper that the new technology is compatible with GM, and Dr Wulff that if we could combine genetic technology such as CRISPR, we would get a bigger payoff.

Details of the study have been published in the recently published journal Nature Plants. The original title is: "Speed breeding are a powerful tool to accelerate crop" and "breeding".