Enza Zaden Chooses Amphasys for Analysis of Pollen Viability

26.03.2014 14:02

Amphasys’ patented “lab-on-a-chip” technology enables efficient and reproducible determination of pollen viability. As a consequence, more effective breeding procedures and higher yields in seed production are expected.

Enza Zaden, one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality vegetable seeds, has chosen the Amphasys impedance flow cytometry system Ampha™ Z30 to analyse pollen viability for the optimization of plant breeding and seed production processes.

“At Enza Zaden, analysis of pollen viability by microfluidic impedance flow cytometry is developing into a standard method helping to improve breeding technologies and the yield of seed production,” says Joep Lambalk, Managing Director Research & Development, Enza Zaden.

Plant breeders know by experience that pollen quality is influenced by many factors like temperature and chemical agents. Unfortunately, there was no standardized, reliable and easy-to-use technique available that allowed a constant monitoring of pollen viability leading to the identification of specific factors causing quality issues. However, the results of a series of experiments performed with Amphasys’ impedance flow cytometer are so encouraging that Enza Zaden is going to implement this technology throughout the company.

“Working with the Ampha™ Z30 allows a much faster, objective and more reproducible analysis of pollen viability than with any other method,” states Iris Heidmann, Senior Scientist at Enza Zaden. “Because of its robustness this technique it is not only applicable in the lab but also directly in the greenhouse. Constant analysis of pollen viability will give information about the state of the plants, in other words whether they are ‘happy’ or not, which should lead to an improvement of many breeding-related processes”.

Control over pollen quality becomes even more important when working with contractors. Monitoring pollen quality directly at the production site will provide a better control over the production chain. With Ampha™ Z30 breeders and seed producers can analyze pollen viability at an instant and decide immediately to proceed or not. Such quality gates at specific stages of the production process will help to prevent breeding and production losses due to pollination with inferior pollen. In order to achieve this goal, Enza Zaden has ordered instruments for their major breeding and production sites.

“We are excited and proud that our ‘lab-on-a-chip’ solution can help Enza Zaden to further improve their breeding processes and production results,”says Dr. Marco Di Berardino, Executive Partner and Chairman of Amphasys. “The potential of this platform technology is huge. Reliable pollen analysis represents a break-through for the seed industry and we are looking forward to developing the many other application fields that this technology can address.“

Amphasys was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from Leister AG. The company focuses its activities in developing and marketing a novel, chip-based single cell analysis technology. Amphasys' mission is to simplify, speed up and miniaturize complex cell analyses and move them to the point-of-use, which may be outside well-equipped research and analytical laboratories. The company is based at Technopark Lucerne.

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