What’s Plant Breeding?- Definition, Targets, Varieties, Steps



Plant breeding is made up of two words- plant and breeding. This implies there may be breeding amongst two completely different species of plant of desired varieties.  The specified varieties imply vegetation ought to have elevated tolerance to environmental stresses (salinity, excessive temperatures, drought, and so forth.), resistance to pathogens (viruses, fungi, and micro organism), and elevated tolerance to insect pests. All these qualities will assist in getting higher yield and disease-free vegetation. These all traits altogether, improve the yield of vegetation and make plant illness free. Plant breeding was first used throughout the inexperienced revolution. Let’s perceive the inexperienced revolution.

Targets of Plant Breeding

The aims of plant breeding are as follows: 

  1. To extend the yield of the crop.
  2. To get improved high quality of the crop.
  3. To develop a disease-free crop.
  4. To acquire vegetation with desired agronomic traits or traits.
  5. To develop vegetation that may resist excessive environmental stress (salinity, excessive temperature, and so forth.)
Plant Breeding


Kinds of Plant Breeding

Breeding among the many vegetation may be of the next varieties:


Inbreeding refers back to the breeding amongst intently associated people.

Backcrossing Breeding

Backcrossing breeding refers back to the breeding of a hybrid organism with one in every of its genetically related mother and father. It’s performed to isolate desired traits in a associated group of vegetation.

Mutation Breeding

Mutation breeding refers back to the breeding that may be induced artificially induced in vegetation by publicity to radiation or chemical compounds. This ends in new varieties.

Genetic Engineering Breeding

It includes genetic instruments Genetic, recombinant DNA know-how to insert fascinating traits into vegetation. The ensuing vegetation are often called transgenic vegetation or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Somatic Hybridization

A  hybrid produced by the fusion of somatic cells of two varieties or species known as a somatic hybrid and the method of manufacturing somatic hybrids is named somatic hybridization. It helps within the switch of fascinating characters from wild or unrelated crop species to crop vegetation.

Plant Breeding Steps

The steps concerned in growing new forms of vegetation are as follows:

Assortment of Variability

Variability means variation in genetic composition (alleles of genes) which brings desired traits in progeny vegetation like tolerance to pests, excessive temperatures, and so forth. This may be achieved by the gathering and preservation of pure genes of various wild varieties, species, and kinfolk of the cultivated species. This assortment of vegetation/seeds with all the varied alleles for all genes in a given crop known as germplasm assortment. So, germplasm assortment brings variability in vegetation. As soon as germplasm is collected, the following step is the analysis and number of mother and father.

Analysis and Number of Mother and father

Two or extra vegetation with desired germplasm are often called mother and father. These mother and father at the moment are chosen and multiplied. For instance-grain size in rice may be longer, intermediate, or shorter. If longer seeds are chosen and sown then the following era crop can have common and longer grains than the unique inhabitants. As soon as mother and father are chosen, the following step is cross-hybridization amongst chosen mother and father.

Cross-hybridization amongst Chosen Mother and father

Cross hybridization is the crossing of two or extra kinds of vegetation with desired traits in such a manner that future generations can have traits of each mother and father. For instance, the excessive protein high quality of 1 dad or mum may be cross-hybridized with illness resistance from one other dad or mum. It will genetically mix the specified traits within the progeny plant. Nevertheless, cross-hybridization is a really time-consuming and tedious course of as first the pollen grains from the male dad or mum should be collected and positioned on the stigma of the flowers feminine dad or mum.  For instance-wheat selection, HUW 468 took 12 years to develop. As soon as cross-hybridization is completed, the following step is the choice and testing of superior recombinants.

Choice and testing of Superior Recombinants

This step includes the number of progeny with desired character mixture or known as recombinants. The progeny crop is superior to each of the mother and father. The progeny obtained are self-pollinated for a number of generations until they attain a state of uniformity (homozygosity) in order that the characters is not going to segregate within the progeny. The self-pollinated progeny for longer generations will produce a pure line. All vegetation within the pure line have similar genotypes. An instance of the pure line is HUW 468 wheat selection. As soon as self-pollination is completed, the following step is testing, releasing, and commercialization of latest cultivars.

Testing, launch, and commercialization of New Cultivars

The chosen traces are evaluated for his or her yield and different agronomic traits like high quality, illness resistance, and so forth. This may be achieved by rising these vegetation within the analysis fields and recording their efficiency underneath preferrred fertilizer, irrigation, and different crop administration practices, and so forth. for at the least three rising seasons at completely different places within the nation. The analysis in analysis fields is adopted. The crop obtained is in contrast with the most effective out there crop cultivar and seeds are multiplied and eventually made out there to farmers.

Purposes of Plant Breeding

Plant breeding has a number of purposes. Let’s perceive them one by one-

Plant Breeding for Illness Resistance

The yield of vegetation may be lowered by a variety of fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens, particularly in tropical climates. These pathogens trigger a number of ailments, that may be fungal (rusts, e.g., brown rust of wheat, crimson rot of sugarcane, and late blight of potato); micro organism (black rot of crucifers), and viruses (tobacco mosaic, turnip mosaic, and so forth.) This may result in 20-30% of crop loss. This loss may be overcome by plant breeding. To realize this, the very first step is to know concerning the causative organism and the mode of transmission.

Plant Breeding for Creating Resistance to Insect Pests

Vegetation can be broken by pests and bugs. So, plant breeding by means of hybridization and choice helps in getting pest and insect-free crop varieties. Nevertheless, some vegetation themselves are pest resistant because of their morphological, biochemical, or physiological traits. For instance- dairy leaves in a number of vegetation are related to resistance to insect pests, e.g, resistance to jassids in cotton and cereal leaf beetle in wheat. Equally, excessive aspartic acid, low nitrogen, and sugar content material in maize result in resistance to maize stem borers. Some insect pest resistance varieties are given under:

Crop Selection Insect pests


(rapeseed mustard)

Pusa Gaurav Aphids
Flat bean

Pusa Sem 2

Pusa Sem 3

Jassids, aphids, and fruit borer
Okra (Bhindi)

Pusa Sawani

Pusa A-4

Shoot and fruit borer

Plant Breeding for Improved Meals High quality

Plant breeding helps in getting improved forms of crops with greater ranges of vitamin. This may be achieved by course of biofortification during which crops with greater ranges of nutritional vitamins and minerals, or greater protein and more healthy fat are bred collectively. The improved crops have higher protein content material and high quality, oil content material and high quality, vitamin content material, and micronutrient and mineral content material. For instance-maize hybrids made in 2000 had twice the quantity of the amino acids, lysine, and tryptophan, in comparison with present maize hybrids. Equally, Atlas 66 (wheat selection) has excessive protein content material.

FAQs on Plant Breeding

Query 1: What are the key issues confronted by farmers earlier than plant breeding?


The issues confronted by farmers earlier than plant breeding are as follows:

  • The crops or seeds had been simply infested by bugs or pests.
  • The crops weren’t in a position to stand up to excessive temperatures.
  • Yield of crops was very much less.
  • Crops lack dietary worth.

Query 2: What’s plant mutation?


Plant mutation means a change within the genetic (DNA) composition of a plant. It may be performed bodily by irradiating crops with gamma rays or chemically.

Query 3: What’s an iron-fortified crop?


Iron-fortified is a rice selection that incorporates over 5 occasions as a lot iron as in generally consumed varieties.

Query 4: Give an instance of mutation breeding.


Mung bean is immune to yellow mosaic virus and powdery mildew was induced by mutations.