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Canadian Wheat Alliance, KWS, and Syngenta collaborate to improve wheat breeding efficiency

Oct. 6, 2014, Saskatoon, SK - Over the next four years, the Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA) and two of the world's leading plant breeding companies, KWS and Syngenta Inc., will partner to develop high-quality wheat plants by improving existing doubled haploid technologies. These methods expose immature grains to treatments that double the genetic material and reduce the length of crop improvement cycles. This collaboration capitalizes on the specific expertise of each partner and the strength of their combined proficiencies, technologies, and infrastructures.

Existing methods of developing doubled haploid wheat plants can be costly, inconsistent, and time-consuming. The partners will increase efficiency to produce fertile doubled haploid wheat plants compared to more traditional methods. In a second step, the partners will leverage the new and more efficient doubled haploid technology platform in their respective wheat breeding programs, which will ultimately benefit agriculture industries in Canada and abroad.

Quick Facts
- The Canadian Wheat Alliance represents an unprecedented 11-year commitment among Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Saskatchewan, the Government of Saskatchewan and NRC, to support and advance research and subsequently benefit Canadian and European wheat farmers.
- The Canadian Wheat Alliance's six projects focus on reducing crop losses due to drought, heat, cold stress, and disease, while reducing nitrogen fertilizer requirements for the benefit of Canadian farmers. One of these projects, Wheat Improvement through Cell Technologies, focuses on developing efficient isolated microspore cultures for Canadian wheat.
- As one of the world's primary wheat exporters, increasing production to take advantage of growing global demands while ensuring domestic consumption will provide direct economic benefits to Canada.
- The Doubled Haploid Wheat Initiative overall value is an estimated $2.5 million with the majority funded by CWA participants and the Western Grains Research Foundation, as well as a significant contribution from the private sector partners.