Over ten years ago, NASA conducted an interesting research which had the purpose of making crops grow much faster. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Queensland, Sydney and the John Innes Centre, has taken that idea one step further. Their method is called speed breeding and it makes crop grow much faster than it would in a field. This makes food arrive in the markets much quicker and helping astronauts that need it on far away planets.
NASA’s initial project had the same purpose and it’s especially relevant when it comes to their ambitious plan to send people to Mars. Growing crops quickly there is essential and could be one of the key factors for our survival on other planets. This research builds on that idea and uses LEDs to boost photosynthesis at certain wavelengths. And even if these crops grew indoor, they grew much faster than a normal crop would out in a field. Also, faster than a greenhouse growth.
Growing crops much faster
It’s worth noting that a greenhouse is able to produce two generations of crops like wheat and canola in one year. In comparison, the new method produced half a dozen generations of the same plants also in one year.
The researchers used some of the most important crops on the market like wheat, barley, chickpea, and canola. They are the source of oils, beans, flour and more such important ingredients, vital for life. Moreover, it seems like the researchers discovered that the method also works well on peanuts, radishes and sunflower.
It’s also worth noting that alternative growing methods usually result in small plants. However, this method reportedly produces large and healthy plants, even more than normally-produced crops. This experiment could prove vital when it comes to the future. Even the future on other planets.
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