Plant Breeding Innovations

The future of plant breeding

Plant Breeding Innovations

New Breeding Techniques

Genome Editing

Food security starts with breeding plants with stable yields that show tolerance to plant pests and diseases. Sustainable production of the specific crop in an ever-changing environment is at the core of plant breeding. Plant breeding isn’t a new science. Farmers have always selected the best plants of a current season to provide seed for the next season. Plant breeding, just like any other science, has evolved tremendously over the decades. After Gregor Mendel discovered of the genetic laws of inheritance in plant there have been a dramatic acceleration in plant improvements and plant breeding, that benefits all mankind.

An increased understanding in Plant Biology and Genetics have enabled breeders to target more precise characteristics in the plant’s genome using technologies such as gene mapping and marker-assisted breeding. Plant Breeding Innovations makes it easier to be more precise in breeding in a shorter time period.

Plant Breeding Innovations mimic the natural process of mutation in the genome by focussing on very precise locations in the genome of the plant and introduces small changes that will improve the plants characteristics. This process would have taken many years in traditional breeding but can be achieved quicker with plant breeding innovations.

Plant breeding innovations is a collective term for a group of technologies developed over the past 20 years such as:

  • Site directed nucleases such as CRISPR-Cas
  • Cis-genesis
  • Reverse breeding
  • Trans-grafting
  • And many more.

In 2021 South Africa's Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development released a public notification confirming that the risk assessment framework that exists for GMOs under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (GMO Act), would apply to NBTs.

For more information New Breeding Techniques and Plant Breeding Innovation please refer to: or Plant Breeding Innovation – International Seed Federation (