Bayer has entered into a collaboration with F1 Seed to provide Bayer’s breeding programme with a pipeline of parents suitable to breed hybrid wheat varieties for the UK, Ireland and other maritime markets.
The firm’s significant global investment into its wheat breeding programme is focused on developing hybrid wheat that can deliver long-term benefits to growers. It has already assembled an extensive international germplasm base for its breeding programme, but there is an aim to increase genetic diversity and improve adaptation to the maritime climate using UK germplasm.
The collaboration with F1 Seed, which complements Bayer’s existing hybrid wheat breeding activity in France and Germany, will allow the firm to make better use of currently available germplasm, improving the overall quality of potential hybrid parents and enter the market earlier with well-adapted hybrid wheat varieties.
Adrian Cottey, Head of Seed for Bayer in the UK and Ireland said: “This is a pivotal step on our journey to be one of the UK’s leading wheat breeders, bringing true innovation to this critical crop.”
F1 Seed Managing Director and wheat breeder, Bill Angus, is well known for helping to bring significant wheat varieties, such as Claire, Einstein, Istabraq, Invicta and more recently Crusoe to the UK market. He also has considerable experience in hybrid wheat breeding and selecting suitable male and female parent lines for hybrids.
Mr Angus explained: “I am delighted to be working with Bayer to develop the next generation of wheat varieties for UK growers.”
The financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.