The benefits associated with molecular breeding are the major factors contributing to the growth of this market, globally. The application of molecular markers in breeding processes effectively reduces the time taken and also helps in discovering more information about the function of the gene of interest. Since the time of the breeding process is reduced to a large extent, the cost of the breeding procedure is also extensively reduced. The molecular breeding market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.79 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 3.95 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 17.11% during the forecast period.
Advancements in molecular technology for crop breeding, growth in the demand for sustainable agricultural practices, demand for high-yield crops & livestock, and rise in the number of investments from key players in this market are expected to play a significant role in the market growth of molecular breeding. However, the lack of infrastructural prerequisites in developing countries, the dearth of skilled professionals, and high start-up cost associated with the application of molecular markers and automated equipment restrain the growth in developing markets. The unregulated environment of molecular breeding in the Americas and Asia Pacific could remove the entry barriers faced by small and medium-sized enterprises, and thus spur the market growth in the coming years.
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Cereal production across the globe has witnessed a positive trend in terms of yield and production quantity in recent years due to the increasing demand from the feed industry and energy sector, especially for corn and soybean, which has encouraged the adoption of advanced technologies by plant breeders. Among all molecular breeding processes, marker-assisted selection (MAS) is majorly adopted for the selection of cereals & grains. With the emergence of genomic selection, developed countries have been adopting this technology over MAS to obtain the superior line of the desired trait. This makes it an important market driver among crop growers, even in developing markets, to adopt as a molecular approach for breeding activities.
By marker type, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) segment is projected to grow at a higher rate from 2018 to 2023. Owing to the high accuracy and higher number of loci with SNP in comparison to SSRs, companies have been using SNPs for molecular breeding services. Eurofins, Illumina Inc., and Charles River are some of the major service providers offering SNPs in the US market, as part of their marker-assisted selection and backcrossing services.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region in the molecular breeding market from 2018 to 2023. The countries in Asia Pacific, especially India and China, have been increasingly adopting advanced technologies for increasing the yield of agricultural produce. Owing to the rising adoption rates of modern agricultural technologies in China, India, Thailand, and other Asian countries, the region is expected to witness tremendous acceptance of molecular breeding in the coming years.
Multinational companies are highly focusing on investments in Asian countries for molecular breeding, especially for MAS and genomic selection processes. Also, with the increasing population and decreasing available arable area for cultivation, the government food authorities are left with relatively few options to improve crop productivity, which is either through GM technology or molecular breeding. Since the last decade, many countries in the Asia Pacific region have banned the usage of GM technology, and researchers are opting to adopt molecular breeding as a key to unlock the region’s food production.
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The global market for molecular breeding is dominated by key players such as Eurofins (Luxembourg), Illumina (US), LGC Limited (UK), Thermo Fisher Scientific (US), and SGS (Switzerland). Some emerging players in the molecular breeding market include DanBred (Denmark), Intertek Group (UK), LemnaTec (Germany), Charles River (US), Slipstream Automation (New Zealand), and Fruitbreedomics (consortium).