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Mildew-resistant hops: An example of the sort of phenotype-driven plant breeding robots could help with | Wired

curated by | August 13, 2015

“… a multiple-year process of growing, seed collection, and growing again to select the most mildew-resistant plants that still keep their floral hop character.”

John Payne’s insight:
There’s no knowing, going into a project like this, just which genes might turn out to be useful. You bring together varieties which each exhibit one or more of the traits you’re looking for and put them together, maybe even making sure that they cross by applying pollen from one to the pistils of another, collect the seed, use it to plant the next crop, select plants from it that seem to be headed in the right direction, collect their seed, and so forth, iterating until you have all of those target traits combined in individual plants. It’s time-consuming, tedious work, perfectly suited for robots!

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