PLANT BREEDING | 4 BIG ACHIEVEMENTS OF PLANT BREEDING

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PLANT BREEDING

( Plant Breeding,  HISTORY OF PLANT BREEDING, OBJECTIVES, ACHIEVEMENTS, ACTIVITIES, Plant Genetic Resource, Breeding techniques, Seed Technology, YIELD ENHANCEMENT, CROP ADAPTATION, FUTURE PROSPECTS )

PLANT BREEDING | 4 BIG ACHIEVEMENTS OF PLANT BREEDING

WHAT IS PLANT BREEDING?

  • The art and science to change the genetic architecture of crop plants to make it more suitable for human needs.   
  • “Plant breeding is considered as the current phase of crop evolution” by Simmons 
  • The Breeder’s task 

HISTORY OF PLANT BREEDING :

Year  Name of scientist  Contribution 
1717 Thomas Fairchild  1st interspecific hybrid between sweet William and carnation 

(Dianthus barbatus x D caryophyllus

1840 John Le Couteur & Patric Shirreff Developed concept of progeny test and individual plant selection in cereals crops 
1866 G J Mendel  Law of inheritance while working of Garden pea
1890 Rimpu  An intergeneric cross between wheat and rye

(Triticum aestivum x Secale cereal)

1903 Johannsen  Developed the concept of pure line, genotype and phenotype 
1908 Hardy & Weinberg Hardy-Weinberg law 
1908 Devenport  Dominance hypothesis of Heterosis 
1914 Shull  First used the term heterosis for hybrid vigour 
1919 Hays and Garber  The idea of recurrent selection 

Synthetic variety for commercial cultivation of maize 

 

ACTIVITIES OF PLANT BREEDING :

To assemble within populations combinations of alleles of many genetic loci that leads to superior multilocus genotypes, followed by superior phenotypes in the environment, have the potential for a new variety. 

  1. Germplasm/plant genetic resource 
  2. Breeding techniques 
  • General Breeding Methods 
  • Special Breeding Methods 

C. Seed Production Technology

 

1. Germplasm/Plant Genetic Resource :

  • Total variability found in plant species.
  • Deals with both Cultivated and wild species.
  • Major steps:
  • Collection 
  • Conservation 
  • Evaluation 
  • Documentation 
  • Utilizations 

2. Breeding techniques

  • Deals with various principles and procedures of crop improvement 
  • Various breeding methods, their merits and demerits are covered 
  • Specific objective-oriented activities like breeding for disease resistance, insect resistance, drought resistance, multiple cropping systems etc.
  • General Breeding methods: includes an introduction, selection, hybridization (inter-varietal)  
  • Special Breeding Methods: Mutation breeding, polyploidy breeding, wide crossing, special techniques namely tissue culture & genetic engineering etc.

3. Seed Production Technology:-

  • Dissemination of technology/variety developed to a farmers field  
  • Deals with principles and methods of improved seed production
  • Different classes of seed:
  • Nucleus Seed
  • Breeder Seed
  • Foundation Seed
  • Certified Seed

OBJECTIVES OF PLANT BREEDING :

  • The prime objective is to develop superior plants over existing ones in relation to economic use.
  • The objective differs from crop to crop and ecological situations as well.
  • Some common objectives are as …  
01. Higher yield  Economic plant part eg. Grain, fodder, tuber, fibre, cane, oil etc
02. Improved quality  A major factor for deciding the market price 

  • Eg.  Cooking quality in rice, baking quality in rice
  •        Malting quality in barley, fibre length, strength, fineness
  •        Protein quality in pulses, oil quality in oilseed
03. Biotic stress Major disease and insects 
04. Abiotic stress Drought, flood, salinity, acidity
05. Earliness 
  • Most desirable traits 
  • Requires less crop management period, less insecticidal spray, reduce the overall production cost, permits double-crop system.
  • Good for drought, insect, disease escape mechanism.
06. Photo and thermo-insensitivity  Cultivation of crop regardless of light and temperature cycle.
07.
Synchronous maturity: 
  • Refers to maturity of crop species at the same time. 
  • Essential for weedicide/pesticide spray, mechanical harvesting etc
08.
Desirable agronomical traits 
  • Plant height (medium hight-rice, wheat etc; long height – sugarcane)
  • Branching
  • Tillering capacity etc.
09.
Removal of toxic compounds 
  • Neurotoxins in Khesari
  • Erusic acid in Brassica
  • Gossypol from cotton

 

ACHIEVEMENTS OF PLANT BREEDING :

  • Yield enhancement
  • Enhancement of compositional traits
  • Crop Adaption
  • Green Revolution

YIELD ENHANCEMENT :

  • Can be achieved through targeting yield per se or its components (tillers, LAI, Photosynthesis, HI etc) or making plants resistant to insect pests.
  1. Introduction of dwarfing genes in rice & wheat 
  2. Development of hybrids – rice, maize, sorghum, pigeon pea etc. 
  3. Discovery of male sterility system
  4. Plant type (Ideotype)
  5. Nobalization of sugarcane 
  6. Disease resistant varieties 
  7. Insect resistant varieties 

EMHANCEMENT OF COMPOSIONAL TRAITS :

  1. Maize – QPM (shakti, rattan, protina)
  2. Low erucic acid and low glucosinolate varieties in Brassica 
  3. High suger content (sugarcane, sugerbeet)
  4. Higher shelf life of fruits (eg tomato)
  5. Golden rice (high vitamin A content)

CROP ADAPTATION :

  • Introduction of new cultivars eg oil palm in southern states.
  • Introduction newer crops eg Rice in Punjab; wheat in west Bengal
  • Maturity duration reduced in many crops 

Cotton – from 270 to 170 days 

Pigeon pea – from 270 to 120 days 

sugarcane – from 360 to 280 days 

  • Stress tolerant varieties identified for drought, salinity etc

GREEN REVOLUTION :

  • Term: William Gaud
  • Green revolution refers to vary substantial yield increase from the development of new crop varieties under the intensive programme of fertilizer, water and pesticide management. 
  • Crop improvement (50%) + Agronomical management (50%) = Green revolution.

FUTURE PROSPECTS :

  • Crop improvement is the current phase of crop evolution & evolution is a never-ending process. 
  • Plant breeding has played an outstanding role in cereal (rice, wheat, maize) improvement.
  • Now focus has to be given to pulses, oilseeds, small millets.
  • Development of crop varieties resistant to biotic and abiotic factors.

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