Free Essay: Conventional Plant Breeding
Conventional plant breeding has become increasingly popular owing to the benefits it offers. It’s a plant breeding method that involves changing plant genes in order to develop a better and new variety. Varieties bred from conventional method are incredible because
- They suit different climate conditions
- They have high nutritional value
- They have an enhanced taste
- They utilize nutrients and water more efficiently and
- Can cope with pest and disease invention much better compared to other plants
To conventionally breed a plant successfully, a new variety closely related to specific plants are crossed sexually. The main objective is to combine favorable traits from parent plants and exclude their unwanted features. By doing so, a better or great plant variety is developed.
However, the progeny of the first cross plant will inherit genes from both parent plants. They will also inherit positive traits from the plants. In other cases, negative traits may also be inherited.
Therefore, as a breeder, it is imperative to be keen during conventional breeding. It is essential to consider all the progeny of a plant and select the ones that have the least negative traits and the most positive traits. Cross the selected progeny to the selected original plant. More importantly, try to select and transfer positive traits to the next generation to achieve the best results.
The process of taking back the progeny back to its parents in conventional breeding is known as back crossing. It is a process that can be passed across many generations over the years to come. Being a continuous process, you can stop when you have achieved all the desirable traits. It is also essential to stop back crossing once you have no negative traits in your plants, and more specifically from the two original plants.
In conventional plant breeding for example, wheat variety that is known to produce high yields in one specific region may be susceptible to a new disease. On the other hand, another plant variety can be highly resistant to the disease. Therefore, breeders can cross and backcross the parent wheat plants with their progeny. By combining the two, high yielding qualities from the plants will be achieved. As a result, they will be highly resistant to new diseases.
Additionally, conventional plant breeding may use wider crosses. This involves crossing different plant species. The genera can be related and may also not be related. In wider crosses, they cannot just occur without the help of more sophisticated techniques.
Other qualities of conventional plant breeding
- Conventional plant breeding leads to hybridization where the end products are genetically pure
- Plants have good vigor
- Heavy yields are achieved from conventional breeding
- They are true to the type
- Conventional breeding also allows for high uniformity where hybrid plants enjoy other characteristics including insect and disease resistance and water holding ability.
Even though conventional plant breeding needs years of preparation, the benefits are truly rewarding. Breeders therefore need years of preparation to create pure plant lines. The plants should also be maintained constantly so that the seeds can be harvested yearly.
Over the past years, conventional plant breeding has been adopted in many parts of the globe because of its impact on agricultural breeding.
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