Scientists at Carlsberg Research Laboratory have invented the non-GMO breeding method FIND-IT to e.g. enhance yields, climate tolerance and quality of crops. A ground-breaking step towards meeting the food requirements for our expanding global population, in the face of changing climatic conditions. The invention is published in the latest issue of Science Advances.
With both rising temperatures and a projection that the current yield increase rates of our crops will not accommodate the food requirements of 9-10 billion people by 2050, there is an urgent demand to find ways to sustainably optimize the way we produce crops.
Prof. Birgitte Skadhauge, Vice President of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, and her team of scientists might have the answer. The team has invented the FIND-IT technology (Fast Identification of Nucleotide variants by droplet DigITal PCR), published in the latest issue of Science Advances.
“It’s a known fact that we need crops in the future which for example have a better quality and higher tolerance for heat and drought stress. With our technology, we are able to screen extremely large numbers of crop individuals in a very short time and find a specific variant, that tolerates heat or drought better. Afterwards the isolated variant can be bred into new improved varieties which are able to grow across the world” says Prof. Birgitte Skadhauge.
FIND-IT enables ultrafast improvement of many different types of plants, such as cereal crops, but also microbes. This includes barley, yeasts and bacterial strains that are fundamental for brewing, food production and many industrial processes. Moreover, FIND-IT accelerates the development process from laboratory to field evaluation and product development and has great potential for sustainable agriculture even outside the world of brewing.
The publishing of these results shows the commitment of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory and the Carlsberg Foundation, which has contributed with funding to the project, in finding sustainable solutions for the betterment of society.
“We are very proud that the Carlsberg Research Laboratory continues to build on its long scientific reputation with the invention of the FIND-IT methodology, which we believe will prove to be a groundbreaking technology that will empower researchers worldwide to address global challenges,” says Prof. Søren-Peter Olesen, Chairman of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory Supervisory Board.
Read much more on the technology in the latest issue of Science Advances.
What started as a quest to develop a scientific basis for malting, brewing and fermentation, is today a world-leading laboratory for brewing-oriented research. We think, study and innovate brewing every day. From the breeding of crops to the end product, we have it all under one roof with the independence to never be afraid to head into the unknown. From the invention of the pH-scale to breeding new high quality and climate-tolerant raw materials, our science is not just brewed into better beers – it is brewed into a better world. Like great beer, great knowledge is meant to be shared.