Plant Breeding

Plant Breeding Overview

Plant breeding began decades ago when the seeds of best performing crops where preserved for cultivation in subsequent farming seasons. As time passed, a framework which provided guiding principles for transferring traits of crops was developed by Gregor Mendel – a 19th century Scientist. This framework has since governed the practice. Plant breeding applies the principles of genetics and other techniques to modify the original make-up of a plant with the aim of improving its characteristics or developing new varieties. It involves selecting the best features from different plants and combining them together to develop crops with higher yields in terms of lower input requirements (pest and disease resistance), crops that are resilient to environmental conditions among other benefits. Besides genetic engineering, other methods of plant breeding include pollination, and selection of progeny. Characters that are transferred in plant breeding are either of qualitative or quantitative nature. Examples of qualitative and quantitative characters are taste and yield respectively.
Because of its ability to significantly increase food production, plant breeding especially fits into the ongoing phase of agricultural development targeted at efficient resource utilization. It is reported that Europe is currently leading in plant breeding research globally. However, the field requires extensive research to meet the dynamic and growing needs of the world’s population. Tengrain Science offers services that ensure collaborative spaces in research and development.