In partnership with the Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrodiversity of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (COMAV-UPV), the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA), the University of Almería (UAL), the University of Córdoba (UCO) and the National Center for Biotechnology of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CNB-CSIC), which are some of the main universities and research centers in the field of agronomy and plant biotechnology, Agrointec's Innovation area is launching a new business division called Seeds For Innovation, Seeds4i. It has been designed and developed entirely in Spain and aims to offer the seed sector a range of plant genetic improvement services of high technological value.
The production of stable parental lines is now possible in a single production cycle thanks to Seeds4i's double haploid production services.
In the words of Edgar García Fortea, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and scientific advisor to the Seeds4i project, “plant ploidy is a parameter that can be modified by means of adequate in vitro cultivation techniques. This is very interesting, since the changes in the genetic endowment of plant organisms make some incredibly valuable resources available to us, allowing us to achieve certain key improvements. Being able to obtain a plant from a pollen grain or from an ovary cell without the need for fertilization between them is going to allow us to develop haploid individuals that, by means of genome duplication, will become 100% homozygous; that is, a pure line in a generation, with all that this entails for the seed houses. And no less important are the polyploid organisms that have often been used in the production of the popular seedless watermelons. Thanks to a series of new techniques in which it is not necessary to use antimitotic (chemical) agents, it is possible to obtain tetraploids in other crops for the production of seedless fruits or other applications, such as obtaining rootstocks or developing new phenotypic variability.”
To sum things up, thanks to our cultivation techniques, we are already able to develop plants with a high added value for the improvement projects carried out by seed houses, and with a much greater efficiency than what we've seen with our current resources, which are basically based on the carrying out of crossings or pollinations in field or greenhouse conditions.”
Example of double haploid individuals produced in peppers by Seeds4i.
More than six years ago, Agrointec Solutions was founded with the aim of becoming a benchmark as a leading consultant for the agro-food industry, providing new solutions, both in the field of industrial equipment and in that of ICT, for companies and public entities, with a special focus on the seed sector.
“When we talk about seeds, we are referring to an industry that is the first link in the agro-food chain, and which is also located anywhere in the world. At Agrointec, we are aware of the need to introduce realistic and effective innovations in this sector. For this reason, we want to democratize R&D through Seeds4i and make it more accessible, making the most innovative pre-breeding techniques available to companies. For this reason, we are committed to launching PLOIDÍA®, a line of services that entails a reduction of up to three years in the time necessary to obtain stable parental lines, compared to current plant breeding techniques, helping companies in the sector to become more competitive and efficient in their improvement programs,” said Alfredo Sánchez-Gimeno, head of Innovation and Agro-Food Products at Agrointec.
Example of double haploid individuals produced in eggplant by Seeds4i.
This is the first of the solutions that Agrointec is launching for the plant breeding sector through Seeds4i. This new business division is a pioneering one in Spain and one of the few in Europe that offers these four main lines of services to support genetic improvement: the first of them is based on in vitro culture techniques, with ploidy services added to others ranging from micropropagation to mutagenesis. The second line consists of plant pathology and plant health services dedicated to the diagnosis of plant diseases and the development of solutions for their control. The third line of business features a massive phenotyping and genotyping service and will be accompanied by the fourth line: bioinformatics, which applies computational technologies with statistics to analyze and manage large volumes of biological data.
With this project, Agrointec remains firmly committed to supporting those in the seed industry that need support or an R&D phase, bringing the most advanced technology in the basic research sector closer and transforming it into easily accessible applied services.
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