Plant breeding

Irradiation can be used to induce mutations in plants with the goal to produce varieties that display improved product quality, have higher yields and yield stability, greater resilience to climate change and tolerance to environmental stresses. We help Member States use mutation techniques to optimise plant biodiversity.

  • Mutation induction

    To artificially induce hereditary changes in plants, either physical or chemical agents are used. Ionizing radiation is a widely used physical agent to treat the seeds and other plant material of crops to create heritable mutations. Read more →

  • Mutation detection

    The next step in mutation breeding is to detect which plants have indeed produced the desired new traits. With recent breakthroughs in detection technologies we help Member States screen plants more efficiently and speed up the development of mutant lines for commercial use. Read more →

  • Mutation breeding

    Applied since the 1930s to accelerate the process of developing and selecting new valuable agronomic traits, mutation breeding uses a plant’s own genetic make-up, mimicking the natural process of spontaneous mutation. The mutation process generates random genetic variations, resulting in mutant plants with new and useful traits. Read more →

  • Plant biodiversity and genetic resources

    Commercial crops have an extremely narrow genetic base, which makes them vulnerable to environmental threats. The induced mutation technique is becoming increasingly important to bring about heritable changes in plants and offer new genetic varieties to plant breeders. Read more →