Our wheat breeders utilize both classic techniques and new technologies to select and breed wheat faster and more efficiently. Three examples of new technologies our breeders are utilizing include:
- Molecular breeding, or marker-assisted breeding, is a tool that allows our breeders to search a sample of a plant’s DNA to look for markers that are associated with certain characteristics, such as better disease resistance or increased yield.
- The Seed Chipper, Monsanto’s proprietary technology, is used to obtain the DNA samples the molecular breeding process analyzes. The chipper removes a small chip from each wheat seed for analysis without harming the seed’s ability to grow. Once our breeders find the incredibly rare combination of genes they’re looking for using molecular markers, they can plant a viable seed for field trials.
- The Doubled-Haploid (DH) process accelerates genetic advancements by reducing the number of plant generations it takes to achieve a pure line. Completely homozygous lines ensure all plants of a given variety are identical, which increases the precision of testing results and improves the quality of our products.
Through advanced breeding technologies and research capabilities, Monsanto has built on its success in corn and soybean technologies to give WestBred wheat access to the tools needed to enhance productivity and improve yield potential.