NAPIGEN is addressing unmet needs of future food supplies by creating hybrid crop plants to boost yields to unprecedented levels. Our company’s hybridization technology allows the production of non-GM hybrid seeds in crop plants that are currently mostly non-hybrid such as wheat.
The use of hybrid plants has dramatically changed corn yield in the past. The change was 8-fold when compared with pre-hybrid yield in 1930s (Figure 1). During the same time period, wheat, which largely is a non-hybrid crop, has only been blessed with less than a 3-fold change in yield increase. The world-wide acreage of hybrid wheat is very limited (less than 0.2%). However, the research shows that the current wheat hybrid plants already produce 15% more yield than inbred lines (1). This would correspond to 112 million tons and $23 billion more than the current wheat production per year. The effect of hybrid vigor is expected to be further improved by developing lines suitable for heterotic groups through classical breeding as was shown in the modern corn history (2).
(1) Longin, et al. (2012) Hybrid breeding in autogamous cereals. Theor. Appl. Genet. 125:1087-1096.
(2) Zhao, et al. (2015) Genome-based establishment of a high-yielding heterotic pattern for hybrid wheat breeding. PNAS 112: 15624-15629.
Figure 1. Improvement of corn and wheat yield in the last 140 years of the USA history. The yellow arrow shows the year when the hybrid seed system was introduced in corn breeding. The red arrow indicates the potential multifold yield gain obtained by the introduction of hybrid wheat. (Source: USDA)