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New system to develop maize varieties faster

SMART HARVEST
By Misheck Mwangi | April 15th 2017
PHOTO:COURTESY

Researchers have discovered a new system that shortens the time needed to develop new maize varieties.

The Marker-Assisted Recurrent Selection (MARS) system helps breeders develop improved, higher yielding and drought-tolerant varieties faster than ever before, according to International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) researchers.

“With conventional breeding, it often takes up to seven to eight years for varieties to reach farmers. With MARS, those varieties take only five years to reach farmers and display greater genetic gain, even under drought conditions,” said Yoseph Beyene, a CIMMYT researcher. 

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