Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops

Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops

Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops

Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops The most important methods of breeding cross-pollinated species are (1) mass selection; (2) development of hybrid varieties; and (3) development of synthetic varieties. Since cross-pollinated species are naturally hybrid (heterozygous) for many traits and lose vigour as they become purebred (homozygous), a goal of each of these breeding methods is to preserve or restore heterozygosity.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

Mass selection 

Mass selection in cross-pollinated species takes the same form as in self-pollinated species; i.e., a large number of superior appearing plants are selected and harvested in bulk and the seed used to produce the next generation. Mass selection has proved to be very effective in improving qualitative characters, and, applied over many generations, it is also capable of improving quantitative characters, including yield, despite the low heritability of such characters. Mass selection has long been a major method of breeding cross-pollinated species, especially in the economically less important species. {Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops}

Hybrid varieties 

The outstanding example of the exploitation of hybrid vigour through the use of F1 hybrid varieties has been with corn (maize).

The production of a hybrid corn variety involves three steps: (1) the selection of superior plants; (2) selfing for several generations to produce a series of inbred lines, which although different from each other are each pure-breeding and highly uniform; and (3) crossing selected inbred lines. During the inbreeding process the vigour of the lines decreases drastically, usually to less than half that of field-pollinated varieties. Vigour is restored, however, when any two unrelated inbred lines are crossed, and in some cases the F1 hybrids between inbred lines are much superior to open-pollinated varieties.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

An important consequence of the homozygosity of the inbred lines is that the hybrid between any two inbreds will always be the same. Once the inbreds that give the best hybrids have been identified, any desired amount of hybrid seed can be produced. {Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops}

Pollination in corn (maize) is by wind, which blows pollen from the tassels to the styles (silks) that protrude from the tops of the ears. Thus controlled cross-pollination on a field scale can be accomplished economically by interplanting two or three rows of the seed parent inbred with one row of the pollinator inbred and detasselling the former before it sheds pollen. In practice most hybrid corn is produced from “double crosses,” in which four inbred lines are first crossed in pairs (A × B and C × D) and then the two F1 hybrids are crossed again (A × B) × (C × D).

The double-cross procedure has the advantage that the commercial F1 seed is produced on the highly productive single cross A × B rather than on a poor-yielding inbred, thus reducing seed costs. In recent years cytoplasmic male sterility, described earlier, has been used to eliminate detasselling of the seed parent, thus providing further economies in producing hybrid seed. {Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops}

Much of the hybrid vigour exhibited by F1 hybrid varieties is lost in the next generation. Consequently, seed from hybrid varieties is not used for planting stock but the farmer purchases new seed each year from seed companies.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

Perhaps no other development in the biological sciences has had greater impact on increasing the quantity of food supplies available to the world’s population than has the development of hybrid corn (maize). Hybrid varieties in other crops, made possible through the use of male sterility, have also been dramatically successful and it seems likely that use of hybrid varieties will continue to expand in the future.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

Synthetic varieties 

A synthetic variety is developed by intercrossing a number of genotypes of known superior combining ability—i.e.,genotypes that are known to give superior hybrid performance when crossed in all combinations. (By contrast, a variety developed by mass selection is made up of genotypes bulked together without having undergone preliminary testing to determine their performance in hybrid combination.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

Synthetic varieties are known for their hybrid vigour and for their ability to produce usable seed for succeeding seasons. Because of these advantages, synthetic varieties have become increasingly favoured in the growing of many species, such as the forage crops, in which expense prohibits the development or use of hybrid varieties.(Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops)

Cross Pollinated Crops

Corn, Pearlmillet, Rye, Alfalfa, Radish, Cabbage, Sunflower, Sugarbeet, Castor, Red clover, White clover, Safflower, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Turnip, Squash, Muskmelon, Watermelon, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Kenaf, Oilpalm, Carrot, Coconut, Papaya, Sugarcane, Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, Apple, Pears, Peaches, Cherries, grapes, Almond Strawberries, Pine apple, Banana, Cashew, Irish, Cassava, Taro, Rubber, etc. {Breeding Methods in Cross Pollinated Crops}


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