Plant breeding

breedingplant breederplant biotechnologybredplant breedersplantbreedercrossedbreedersbreed
Plant breeding is the science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics.wikipedia
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Plant breeding started with sedentary agriculture and particularly the domestication of the first agricultural plants, a practice which is estimated to date back 9,000 to 11,000 years.
Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological and environmental damage.

Food security

food supplyfood insecurityfood insecure
International development agencies believe that breeding new crops is important for ensuring food security by developing new varieties that are higher yielding, disease resistant, drought tolerant or regionally adapted to different environments and growing conditions.
Food production is determined by a variety of factors including land ownership and use; soil management; crop selection, breeding, and management; livestock breeding and management; and harvesting.


cultigenscultural varietyfood cultivation
Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to methods that make use of knowledge of genetics and chromosomes, to more complex molecular techniques (see cultigen and cultivar).
Cultigens arise in the following ways: selections of variants from the wild or cultivation including vegetative sports (aberrant growth that can be reproduced reliably in cultivation); plants that are the result of plant breeding and selection programs; genetically modified plants (plants modified by the deliberate implantation of genetic material); and graft-chimaeras (plants grafted to produce mixed tissue, the graft material possibly from wild plants, special selections, or hybrids).


In the early 20th century, plant breeders realized that Mendel's findings on the non-random nature of inheritance could be applied to seedling populations produced through deliberate pollinations to predict the frequencies of different types.
When pollination occurs between species it can produce hybrid offspring in nature and in plant breeding work.

Gartons Agricultural Plant Breeders

Gartons Agricultural Plant Breeders in England was established in the 1890s by John Garton, who was one of the first to commercialize new varieties of agricultural crops created through cross-pollination.
In 1898 the business became known as Gartons Limited and, under the inspired commercial leadership of George Peddie Miln, was to become the British Empire's largest plant breeding and seed company.


triticale (× ''Triticosecale'')× ''Triticosecalequadrotriticale
For example, the cereal triticale is a wheat and rye hybrid.
Triticale (× Triticosecale), is a hybrid of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale) first bred in laboratories during the late 19th century in Scotland and Germany.

Pollination bags

Pollinators may be excluded through the use of pollination bags.
Such bags may not suit to the needs of plant breeders of different crops.

Embryo rescue

The classical plant breeder may also make use of a number of in vitro techniques such as protoplast fusion, embryo rescue or mutagenesis (see below) to generate diversity and produce hybrid plants that would not exist in nature.
Embryo rescue plays an important role in modern plant breeding, allowing the development of many interspecific and intergeneric food and ornamental plant crop hybrids.

Doubled haploidy

doubled haploidsdoubled haploid
Homozygous plants with desirable traits can be produced from heterozygous starting plants, if a haploid cell with the alleles for those traits can be produced, and then used to make a doubled haploid.
Artificial production of doubled haploids is important in plant breeding.

Doubled haploidy

doubled haploidsdoubled haploid
Homozygous plants with desirable traits can be produced from heterozygous starting plants, if a haploid cell with the alleles for those traits can be produced, and then used to make a doubled haploid.
Artificial production of doubled haploids is important in plant breeding.

Molecular breeding

genomic selectionadvanced plant-breeding techniques
Application of biotechnology or molecular biology is also known as molecular breeding.
Molecular breeding is the application of molecular biology tools, often in plant breeding and animal breeding

Genetically modified food controversies

controversiespublic concernsgenetically modified food
The debate surrounding genetically modified food during the 1990s peaked in 1999 in terms of media coverage and risk perception, and continues today – for example, "Germany has thrown its weight behind a growing European mutiny over genetically modified crops by banning the planting of a widely grown pest-resistant corn variety." The debate encompasses the ecological impact of genetically modified plants, the safety of genetically modified food and concepts used for safety evaluation like substantial equivalence.
Genetically modified food controversies are disputes over the use of foods and other goods derived from genetically modified crops instead of conventional crops, and other uses of genetic engineering in food production.

Green Revolution

techniquesagricultural revolutioncommercial large-scale monoculture
Similar yield increases were not produced elsewhere until after World War II, the Green Revolution increased crop production in the developing world in the 1960s.
Agronomists bred cultivars of maize, wheat, and rice that are generally referred to as HYVs or "high-yielding varieties".

Genetic engineering

genetically engineeredgenetic modificationgenetically modified
Some scientists therefore argue that plants produced by classical breeding methods should undergo the same safety testing regime as genetically modified plants.
Unlike traditional animal and plant breeding, which involves doing multiple crosses and then selecting for the organism with the desired phenotype, genetic engineering takes the gene directly from one organism and inserts it in the other.


potatoesSolanum tuberosumIrish potatoes
There have been instances where plants bred using classical techniques have been unsuitable for human consumption, for example the poison solanine was unintentionally increased to unacceptable levels in certain varieties of potato through plant breeding.
Dozens of potato cultivars have been selectively bred specifically for their skin or, more commonly, flesh color, including gold, red, and blue varieties that contain varying amounts of phytochemicals, including carotenoids for gold/yellow or polyphenols for red or blue cultivars.

Hybrid (biology)

His experiments with plant hybridization led to his establishing laws of inheritance.
Plant breeders use several techniques to produce hybrids, including line breeding and the formation of complex hybrids.

Plant breeders' rights

plant variety rightsbreeders' rightsplant breeders’ rights
Plant breeders' rights is also a major and controversial issue.
Plant breeders' rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that give the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit, foliage) of a new variety for a number of years.


cornTriticumdwarf wheat
For example, the cereal triticale is a wheat and rye hybrid.
Modern bread wheat varieties have been cross-bred to contain greater amounts of gluten, which affords significant advantages for improving the quality of breads and pastas from a functional point of view.

Marker-assisted selection

selection markermarker assisted selectionmolecular breeding
Marker assisted selection can also be employed as a diagnostics tool to facilitate selection of progeny who possess the desired trait(s), greatly speeding up the breeding process.
This process has been extensively researched and proposed for plant and animal breeding, nevertheless, as of 2013 "breeding programs based on DNA markers for improving quantitative traits in plants are rare".

Selection methods in plant breeding based on mode of reproduction

mass selection
Selection methods in plant breeding based on mode of reproduction
Plant breeders use different methods depending on the mode of reproduction of crops, which include:

Nazareno Strampelli

Nazareno Strampelli
Nazareno Strampelli (May 29, 1866 in Castelraimondo, Italy – January 23, 1942) was an Italian agronomist and plant breeder.

Norman Borlaug

Norman E. BorlaugDr. Norman BorlaugNorman Ernest Borlaug
Norman Borlaug
He had discovered that special plant breeding methods produced plants resistant to rust.

Family-based QTL mapping

Family based QTL mapping
The method has been discussed in the context of plant breeding populations.

Double-pair mating

Double-pair mating
Double-pair mating (DPM) is a mating (crossing) design used in plant breeding.

European Association for Research on Plant Breeding

The European Association for Research on Plant Breeding, Europaeische Gesellschaft fuer Zuechtungsforschung, Association Européenne pour l'Amélioration des Plantes, Asociación Europea para el Mejoramiento de las Plantas, (in short EUCARPIA) is a non-profit organisation which promotes international scientific and technical research in the area of plant breeding in order to encourage its further development.