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New era in plant breeding: Ohalo’s ‘Boosted Breeding’ technology a game changer for global agriculture

Ohalo announced today the discovery of Boosted Breeding™, an entirely new plant breeding technology that will revolutionize agriculture and sustainably improve crop productivity. Much like hybrid plant breeding systems discovered in the early twentieth century, Boosted Breeding introduces an unprecedented leap forward, with the potential to unlock unimaginable yield, change inefficient agronomic practices, and vastly increase the adaptability and resiliency of nearly any agricultural crop.

“The demands on agriculture have never been greater, with estimates that global food production must increase by at least 50% over the next 25 years, according to the UN,” said Dave Friedberg, CEO of Ohalo. “At the same time, crop growing regions are shifting, and food production is becoming increasingly more volatile due to changing weather patterns. Boosted Breeding will accelerate agriculture adaptation and increase productivity, helping crops survive and thrive in new environments while reducing the cost and footprint of agriculture.”

What is Boosted Breeding?

Ohalo’s Boosted Breeding system enables each parent plant to pass its entire genome to its offspring, rather than a random half of the genes of each parent. These new Boosted™ offspring plants then possess an expanded genome containing all of the genes from each parent, unlocking the following major benefits:

  • Combining Beneficial Traits – Because parent plants pass on a random selection of half of their genes to their offspring in traditional plant breeding, combining beneficial traits (like disease resistance or drought tolerance) is difficult and time-consuming, sometimes taking decades or longer to accomplish, and often requiring trade offs in plant health and growth. Boosted plants immediately inherit all the beneficial traits of both parents, allowing for an unprecedented improvement in Boosted crops.
  • Vastly Increased Health and Growth – With a larger genome, Boosted plants benefit from radically improved genetic diversity and the novel gene networks that arise as a result, leading to plants that are healthier and grow bigger and faster, with overall yield gains of 50-100%+ in early trials.
  • Genetically Uniform True Seed™ – For many crops that are vegetatively propagated, like potatoes, instead of grown from seed, Boosted Breeding unlocks scalable seed-based planting systems for the first time. True Seed™ systems carry lower disease risk and require a fraction of the cost and time associated with vegetative propagation.

The Boosted Breeding discovery, resulting from nearly five years of research by Ohalo into the underlying mechanisms of plant reproductive biology, alters the reproductive circuits in parent plants using Ohalo’s proprietary proteins and process. This discovery brings an unprecedented level of precision and speed to plant breeding that can deliver vastly improved varieties faster than ever before.

Accelerate and improve existing breeding systems

“We founded Ohalo on the premise that we could significantly accelerate and improve existing breeding systems and crop outcomes by changing a plant’s reproductive system,” said Ohalo CTO, Jud Ward. “After years of scientific discovery and many iterations, we have proven this technology will eliminate many of the challenges agriculture faces and believe this will unleash previously unimaginable benefits for farmers and consumers.”

In addition to the ability to combine beneficial traits and increase yield through improved genetic diversity, Boosted Breeding enables new agronomic systems for vegetatively propagated crops that are currently costly, inefficient, and vulnerable to significant disease.

Genetically uniform true seeds

“Boosted plants produce genetically uniform true seeds that unlock the ability to create entirely new seed industries in crops that farmers don’t plant from true seed today, like potatoes,” said Friedberg. “Over the next few years, we’re going to radically transform the way crops are grown, making new seed varieties commercially available for farmers with vastly improved agronomic systems, ultimately delivering improvements in yield, resilience and adaptability, and nutrition.”

Ohalo is already implementing Boosted Breeding to drive breakthroughs across a multitude of crops, from potatoes, to corn, to berries, and beyond. The company is actively developing Boosted crop programs both internally and through partnership with industry leaders, with plans to expand its work into other crops and geographies as it accelerates the rollout of its Boosted technology platform.

For more information about Ohalo, visit www.ohalo.com.

Source: Ohalo
Cover image: Dave Friedberg, CEO of Ohalo

About Ohalo

Ohalo™ aims to accelerate evolution to unlock nature’s potential. Founded in 2019, Ohalo develops novel breeding systems and improved plant varieties that help farmers grow more food with fewer natural resources, increasing the yield, resiliency, and genetic diversity of crops to sustainably feed our population. Ohalo’s breakthrough technology, Boosted Breeding, will usher in a new era of improved productivity to radically transform global agriculture. For more information, visit www.ohalo.com.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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