Syngenta’s new state-of-the-art wheat breeding support facility at its Jealott’s Hill Research and Development site is already producing new lines of wheat, helping to speed up the process of bringing new crop varieties to the market.
The new £2 million glasshouse facility covers 2000 square metres and complements Syngenta’s established wheat breeding centre in Cambridgeshire. Specialist glasshouse and controlled environment rooms will help scientists to create perfect wheat growing conditions, supporting and accelerating traditional breeding programmes for this vital crop.
Syngenta portfolio manager for genetics for Europe North, Samantha Brooke said “By using a doubled-haploid technique to support traditional breeding, the facility aims to continue the Syngenta heritage of bringing varieties produced by this technique to market,” explains Mrs Brooke, “for example, the popular bread-making winter wheat variety, Gallant.
“Gallant was a key variety developed using this technique that we brought to market five years ago. Since its launch it has gone on to achieve end market acceptance among leading millers. But more than that, it also offers multiple benefits to growers.
“In tests it has produced Hagbergs consistently above the 250 threshold often demanded by millers. And its early maturity can be a real help in protecting quality in seasons where the latter part of the summer turns wet.
“Allied to that, Gallant can reach key growth stages for inputs such as fertiliser and fungicides earlier than other varieties. This can be an enormous help to growers to help ease workload bottlenecks at busy times of the year.
“With all these benefits in a single variety developed using the doubled-haploid technique, it’s no wonder we are excited by the expansion of our capacity in this area,” she adds.
With over 600 scientists, Syngenta’s Jealott’s Hill site is the largest privately owned agricultural science research facility in the UK.
Story source: Syngenta, 24 May 2013