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Scientists at the United Kingdom-based John Innes Center have developed a fast-growing sprouting broccoli that goes from seed to harvest in 8 to 10 weeks, potentially resulting in two full crops a season in-field, or all year round crops in protected conditions. The team’s work was based on tweaking vernalisation, which is the need for some plants to experience a period of cold weather before they can flower. This timing is critical in terms of a plant’s adaptation to the environment and its resulting yield. According to Dr. Judith Irwin, “We harnessed our knowledge of how plants regulate the flowering process to remove the requirement for a period of cold temperature and bring this new broccoli line to harvest faster. This means growers could turn around two field-based crops in one season, or if the broccoli is grown in protected conditions, 4-5 crops in a year.” She added: “This is a very exciting development as it has the potential to remove our exposure to seasonal weather fluctuations from crop production. This could mean broccoli – and in future other vegetables where the flower is eaten, for example, cauliflowers – can be grown anywhere at any time enabling continuous production and supply of fresh local produce.” This line of broccoli, the scientists said, has been developed using conventional breeding techniques.NEXT ARTICLE
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, an...