“With our partners, Aardevo and KWS, we would like to implement three-parent hybridization technology in order to cross agricultural plants with more climate-resilient wild plants,” Prof Groß-Hardt explains in a press release.
The project will build on work from 2017, when Prof Groß-Hardt described a new strategy for creating three-parent plants, allowing desirable aspects of three plants, rather than just two, to be combined in an offspring plant. It should also make it possible to combine plants even when they are only distantly related. Prof Groß-Hardt and her partners have a patent pending for the breeding method.
With the new funding, the team plans to implement the new method, focusing on climate-proofing potatoes and sugar beet. “Here in Bremen, we will additionally work on technologies [that] can increase the efficiency in creating and detecting three-parent plants,” Prof Groß-Hardt says.
The whole consortium will receive €2.5 million, with €1.6 million going to Prof Groß-Hardt and the Bremen team. This is not the first time she receives EU funding, securing first an ERC Consolidator grant in 2015 and then an ERC Proof of Concept Grant in 2020.
(© Emilie Steinmark / AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de)