US biotech company Calyxt Inc announced further expansion of its hemp breeding platform on 8 July with the addition of triploid breeding technology to create seedless hemp.

“Like seedless watermelon, seedless hemp can offer significant advantages in crop management and harvest potential,” the company said. “For hemp fibre production, a seedless crop can improve fibre quality and increase yield.

“Grain production for hemp protein and oil derivatives can also be enhanced with a breeding programme based on controlled pollination, effectively eliminating the threat of rogue pollinators that can sub-optimise yields.”

Calyxt chief technology officer Travis Frey said triploid hemp was an important step forward in modernising the crop.

"From a breeding perspective, it's a foundational technology to rapidly unlock advancements in hemp genetics. The resulting seedless, pollen-proof plants offer growers significant upgrades for their cropping system by de-risking broad acre cultivation, likely improving both quality and yield."

Calyxt uses its TALEN gene editing technology to develop plants with improved traits. In its development pipeline are high oleic, low linolenic soyabeans, low THC hemp, high fibre wheat and alfalfa with improved digestibility.