Pro Farmer Editors
DuPont today unveiled a technology they say will transform seed research
and "considerably speed up the development of higher yielding corn
and soybean varieties." DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred introduced Laser-Assisted
Seed Selection to farmers attending the Farm Progress Show as the newest tool
in its Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT) toolbox. The technology promises to
increase the size and scope of the Pioneer breeding program five fold in the
next three years, says the company.
Laser-Assisted Seed Selection uses a 120-watt carbon dioxide laser to score
a small slice from a seed to capture its genetic information while maintaining
the seed's viability for planting. Molecular breeding techniques are used
to identify desirable genetic combinations within each individual scored seed
slice. Seeds identified to have superior genetics are selected for planting
and advancement through the Pioneer research program.
Pioneer has numerous patents pending for the technology and will be using
it on millions of corn and soybean seeds by the end of 2009.