Breeding

  • Introduction

    The efficient production of food and feed stuff is one of the big challenges in our century. The growing world population and the coming end fossil fuels demand higher productivity in all sectors.

    The entire process starts with the breeders. Plant breeding research and the related seed production are an important part of the process of developing new higher-yielding varieties of crops. They are supposed to be more resistant to diseases and should be easy to adapt to special growing conditions in different regions and environments.

    For the short period between harvesting and the next sowing, plant breeders need rapid, cost-effective and meaningful analytical techniques to be able to develop crop plants with improved quality.

    In order to fulfill these demands breeders and other researchers employ many different scientific methods in their seed production process.

     

  • Applications

    NIR in breeding research and process

    One of these established methods in plant breeding is Near Infrared Spectroscopy.
    The advances achieved obtained in, for example, the dry matter content of forage grass, the oil content of oilseed rape and the protein content of feed barley depend directly on the intensity of selection from a starting material which consists of thousands of foundation stocks.

    Instead of conventional „wet chemical“ analytical procedures, spectroscopy in the near infrared (NIRS) has proved to be successful for this purpose and can now be transferred from the laboratory to the field as a consequence of newly developed instruments.

    NIR Instrumentation for routine analysis, R&D and quality control in plant breeding has been already used for a few decades. In the last years these NIR sensors and the related calibrations for use in plant breeding have been optimized for providing high accuracy and precision.

    Due to good and reliable results in measuring moisture, protein and other important parameters Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) can be considered as one of the standard methods in plant breeding programs.

     

  • From Lab to the field

    From Lab to the field

    ZEISS NIR sensors not only provide high accuracy in prediction. Robustness and reliability on a very high level allows the use of these NIR spectrometer systems even in very harsh environment on harvesting machines or as portable NIR spectrometer on cars or in the field.

    ZEISS NIR systems are in use to insure the quality of new plant varieties. On harvest machines the quality of the harvested goods can be controlled and stored in field files. Even the harvest process can be optimized with the measured parameters.

    The water content of field crops determines their stability during storage, partially characterizes their nutritional value and is also a crucial factor in fixing their trading price. Water is the constituent which can be most easily determined in the near infrared While other constituents of economic importance such as protein, oil and carbohydrates display lower absorptivity in the near infrared , their contents can nonetheless be determined with high analytical precision by a single, non-destructive measurement of freshly harvested grains and seeds.

     

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    The New Spectrometer System for Agribusiness from Carl Zeiss

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