Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding (Nature Plants) ($)

Accelerated development of improved plant varieties is imperative to meet the ever-growing needs in the agri-food sector. Breeding has been a durable solution for developing elite cultivars; however, the entire process is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Here, Watson et al. demonstrated how extending the photoperiod to a day-length of 22 hours could significantly shorten the generation time of crop species, yielding up to 4-6 generations per year instead of 2-3 generations per year under conventional conditions. The study shows that the flowering time of plants grown under speed breeding is approximately half the time of those from glasshouse conditions, resulting in early seed setting. (Summary by Muthamilarasan Mehanathan) Nature Plants 10.1038/s41477-017-0083-8