Plant Breeding and Genetics

Plant Breeding and Genetics

The Plant Breeding and Genetics Section assists FAO and IAEA Member States in the implementation of innovative and effective plant breeding programmes using radiation induced mutation, mutation detection and pre-breeding technologies. This is done through research and development (R&D), capacity development, policy advice, technology transfer and technical support and assistance via Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) and Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs).

The overall aim is to enhance global food security through sustainable crop production using strategic fundamental and applied crops sciences research. Our work is driven by Member State demands, and the MSs are the recipients of technology transfer, capacity development, policy advice, materials and information. The major target is yield and yield stability, but this encompasses developing crops with greater resilience to climate change. Quality traits, especially nutritious foods, are also high on the agenda of Member States.

Mutation breeding is hugely successful. The wide use of mutation induction for crop improvement is documented in the FAO/IAEA Mutant Variety Database, which includes more than 3200 officially released mutant varieties from 214 different plant species in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Over 1,000 mutant varieties of major staple crops, cultivated on tens of millions of hectares enhance rural income, improve human nutrition and contribute to environmentally sustainable food security in the world.

Highlights
Amid obstacles, Central African Republic Opts for Progress with Nuclear Technology Amid obstacles, Central African Republic Opts for Progress with Nuclear Technology. After years of insecurity and internal strife, authorities and scientists from the Central African Republic are again turning to nuclear and nuclear-related techniques for development. From increasing soil fertility to developing improved plant varieties and understanding their water resources, they are now picking up speed. Read More »
Plant breeding in Bangladesh adds variety to the seasonal planting calendar Plant breeding in Bangladesh adds variety to the seasonal planting calendar. The plant breeding programme of Bangladesh includes not only rice, still the country’s main crop, but a large variety of other crops that enable farmers to plant and harvest new crop varieties with synchronised maturation and growing seasons. This ability to plant a diversity of crops helps sustain local agricultural production and food security and represents billions of US dollars to the national economy. Read More »
Bangladesh Triples Rice Production with Help of Nuclear Science Bangladesh Triples Rice Production with Help of Nuclear Science.
Mymensingh, Bangladesh — New varieties of rice made using nuclear techniques have helped Bangladesh increase its rice production three-fold in the last few decades. This in turn has enabled the country to stay one step ahead of its rapid population growth. Today there is a secure and steady supply of rice in Bangladesh, and the country is shifting from being an importer to an exporter of rice. Read More »
Cuban rice variety stays popular in Cuba’s fields and cuisine after almost 20 years Cuban rice variety stays popular in Cuba’s fields and cuisine after almost 20 years. Cuban cooking represents a blend of many cuisines, including Spanish, African, Caribbean and Native American, with one ingredient connecting them all – rice. Rice is the central ingredient of so many dishes that per capita rice consumption is as high as 60 kg a year. To meet this demand, Cuba introduced the high-yielding INCA LP-7 mutant variety in 1997. It thrives in the Cuban climate, is tolerant to salinity and resists the panicle rice mites that plague Cuba’s rice fields. Read More »

Previous Highlights