Radicle Crops acquires Wageningen UR quinoa breeding program and associated breeding technologies


A strategic leap forward for Radicle Crops

Radicle Crops (RC) is thrilled to announce the acquisition of the quinoa breeding program of Wageningen University and Research (WUR). The transaction covers all of WUR’s quinoa breeding assets, including nine patented saponin-free varieties, associated genetics, and proprietary breeding tools. The acquisition is a significant step in RC’s pursuit to consolidate and broaden its position as a leading supplier of quinoa seed, genetics, and next-generation breeding technologies.

RC’s mission is to make quinoa a widely accessible and available food for all. Quinoa is an exceptional crop species that can contribute to more diverse diets and a healthier planet. It is tolerant to drought and soil salinity and can effectively produce highly-nutritious food on marginal lands. Quinoa is also gluten-free and rich in high-quality proteins; a perfect match for global consumers seeking healthier and more sustainable (plant-based) nutrition.

As the impacts of climate change become starker, quinoa offers hope for greater agricultural resiliency and more nutritious diets. RC is ready to unlock the true genetic potential of quinoa to provide major leaps in productivity, resilience, and climate-adaptiveness.


Purposefully committed to cutting-edge innovation built on excellent science

Since 2019, RC and WUR have been collaborating in quinoa genetics and breeding research, leading to major breakthroughs, including the development of a F1 Hybrid breeding system that has the potential to revolutionize the industry. As part of the acquisition, RC and WUR have committed to extending their successful R&D partnership. This ensures the continuity of a bold and creative approach to quinoa breeding, with Robert van Loo, senior scientist at Plant Breeding WUR, remaining as RC’s chief scientific advisor.
RC will now fully focus on the development of true F1 hybrid varieties by leveraging on the power of data-driven predictive breeding. F1 hybrid varieties promise to be significantly more productive and resilient. In the face of climate-change, these new varieties will help growers worldwide maximize the production of high-quality nutrients per unit resource with the least penalty on our environment.

RC’s alliance with WUR – the world’s leading research institute in plant and agricultural sciences- ensures the continuity of a bold, creative, and frontier-driven approach to quinoa breeding. Over the coming eight years, RC will allocate 800,000 euros in bilateral and public-private projects to foster further cutting-edge innovation in quinoa at WUR. To learn more about ongoing projects with WUR, follow this link: https://radiclecrops.com/news_tki2022/


New commercial horizons

RC is driven by its belief that quinoa can be a catalyst of the next transition of our global food system. By acquiring WUR’s breeding assets, RC can invest in scaling up its operations and innovations to speed up product development. And with ownership of valuable intellectual property, RC can now forge exciting partnerships with leading retail and ingredient companies in the quinoa industry. By offering customized variety development services and sharing its proprietary breeding technologies, RC is well-positioned to extend its international reach and make a significant impact on the world’s food supply. The possibilities are truly limitless!

Want to know more? Get in touch with us! 

To learn more about RC’s next strategic steps in quinoa breeding, feel free to contact us. You can also follow us on LinkedIn to stay tuned for more upcoming developments.

A healthier planet needs greater diversity in farms and diets: quinoa and white lupin can strengthen our food production systems


Strategic funding to propel quinoa and white lupin through modern breeding technologies

Radicle Crops has allied with Wageningen Plant Research, Plantik Biosciences, and Lekker Lupine on a new project aiming to accelerate quinoa and white lupin breeding. The project (worth ~2 million euros) is co-funded by the Dutch government via its Top Sector Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) subsidy program (https://topsectortu.nl/en/). The three companies aim to bring more biodiversity to farmers and diets worldwide. Wageningen Plant Research is a leading academic and research institute in plant biotechnology and plant breeding.


Quinoa and white lupin: two extraordinary crops for future food production systems

Global diets rely on a surprisingly small number of crop species. By consuming and farming the same crops, again and again, we have weakened the resilience of our food production system. Farmers worldwide are rediscovering alternative crops that are more nutritious, hardier in the face of climate change, and kinder to the environment.

Quinoa and white lupin are two unique crop species that can contribute to more diverse diets and a healthier planet. Quinoa is tolerant to drought and salinity and can effectively produce food in marginal farmland where common staples cannot thrive. White lupins are avid nitrogen fixers that could prove invaluable in regenerative agriculture programs. Both species are gluten-free and protein-rich (quinoa is also one of few plant-based sources of “complete proteins”). They are ideal ingredients for a plant-based future!


As the impacts of climate change become starker, alternative crops like quinoa (left panels) and white lupin (right panels) offer hope for greater agricultural resiliency and more nutritious diets. Modern breeding technologies are the key to unlocking the potential of alternative crop species.


The project in a nutshell

Farmers, food makers, and consumers worldwide are growing fonder of quinoa and white lupin. However, the two species have been largely neglected by breeding programs. Their wide-scale adoption requires significant crop improvement efforts to address key limitations – like the presence of anti-nutrients in lupin seeds or the susceptibility of quinoa to heat stress. The private-public consortium will speed up the introduction of new breeding technologies and the creation of new genetic variation in both species to address key breeding objectives. Specifically:

In quinoa, mutant populations will be created using classical mutagenesis, as well as gene editing tools. These populations will be used in forward and reverse genetic screens. The goal is to identify genes that amplify exceptional traits (i.e., high productivity under drought) or convey novel characteristics (e.g., tolerance to herbicides and heat stress).

In white lupin, classical mapping strategies and mutant populations will be used to rapidly eliminate the presence of anti-nutritional alkaloids in seeds, as well as to develop new sources of resistance to anthracnose. This disease dramatically reduces the yields of white lupin farmers.

The project will not only deliver new (breeding) materials with improved traits for both species. It will also lead to the creation of modern bioinformatic and gene-editing tools for discovering useful traits desired by the farming and food industry.


Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

Would you like to know more about the project? Are you interested in learning more about quinoa, white lupin, or modern breeding technologies for emerging crops? Feel free to contact us:


  –   Dr. Andrés Torres Salvador
      andres at radiclecrops.com

  –   Dr. Robert van Loo
      robert.vanloo at wur.nl

  –   Ms. Ying Shao
      ying at plantik.bio

  –   Ms. Marieke Laméris
      info at lekkerlupine.nl