Plant breeding is an art and science, which tells us ways and means to change the genetic architecture of plants so as to attain a particular objective. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular techniques Plant breeding has been practiced for thousands of years, since near the beginning of human civilization. It is now practiced worldwide by individuals such as gardeners and farmers, or by professional plant breeders employed by organizations such as government institutions, universities, crop-specific industry associations or research centers.
International development agencies believe that breeding new crops is important for
ensuring food security by developing new varieties that are higher-yielding, resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant or regionally adapted to different environments and growing conditions.
The objectives may be(Plant Breeding)
a) Crop improvement
b) Improved agronomic characters
c) Resistance against biotic and abiotic stress
1. Increased yield
Majority of our breeding programmes aims at increased yield. This is achieved by
developing more efficient genotypes. The classical examples are utilization of Dee Gee Woo Gen in rice and Norin10 in wheat. Identification and utilization of male sterility
2. Improving the quality
Rice -milling, cooking quality, aroma and grain colour
wheat- milling and baking quality and gluten content.
pulses -Protein content and improving sulphur containing amino acids
oilseeds- PUFA content
3. Elimination of toxic substance
HCN content in jowar plants
Lathyrogen content in Lathyrus sativus (βN oxalyamine alanine BOAA)
Erucic acid in Brassicas
Cucurbitacin in cucurbits
4. Resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses
Biotic stress: Evolving pests and diseases resistant varieties there by reducing cost of
cultivation, environmental pollution and saving beneficial insects.
Abiotic stress: It is location specific problem. Soil factors and edaphic factors some times
poses severe problems. Breeding resistant varieties is the easy way to combat abiotic
5. Change in maturity duration – Evolution of early maturing varieties
6. Improved agronomic characters -Production of more tillers – E.g. Rice, Bajra,
7. Reducing the plant height to prevent lodging – Rice
8. Photoinsensitivity – Redgram, sorghum
9. Non-shattering nature – Green gram, Brassicas
10. Synchronized maturity – Pulses
11. Determinate Growth habit –determinate growth – Pulses
12. Elimination or introduction of dormancy –Groundnut