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What is plant breeding? Explain the two steps involved in classical plant breeding.



Plant breeding is the purposeful manipulation of plant species in order to develop desired plant types that are better suited for cultivation, give high quality and better yields and are disease resistant. Recorded evidences indicate that plant breeding began with the domestication of wild plants 9000-1100 years ago. Almost all our present day crops are derived from ancient domesticated varieties through plant breeding. Classical plant breeding involves crossing of pure lines with desired characters, their hybridization followed by artificial selection to give rise plants with disirable characters of higher yield and resistance to pathogens. With advancements in genetics, molecular biology and tissue culture, plant breeding is now increasingly being carried out by using molecular genetic tools.

Classical plant breeding involves:

  • Hybridisation of pure lines.
  • Artificial selection for producing plant with desired characters of higher yield or resistance to diseases.
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