Breeding costs time, the world is in a hurry

I was recently at an EU conference in Brussels, organised by the European Commission; the topic was modern biotechnology and, in particular, whether or not to apply it in agriculture and horticulture.

I was recently at an EU conference in Brussels, organised by the European Commission; the topic was modern biotechnology and, in particular, whether or not to apply it in agriculture and horticulture. As I see it, this is about the techniques that work with native genes such as the CRISPR-cas9 methods. Under current Brussels legislation, these are now not allowed to be used by breeding companies. This is not about mixing different types, which is often referred to as genetic modification (GMO). One major advantage in addition to greater precision, is the fact that much time can be saved in the development of new varieties. This takes many years because, while the traditional breeding methods are still very useful in themselves, they do take a long time. Developing a good potato variety takes more than 10 years.

 

Read the full article? Click here to subscribe to Potato World magazine!