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Sequence No.


(i) Write the desirable characters a farmer looks for in his sugarcane crop.
(ii) How did plant breeding techniques help North Indian farmers to developing cane with desired characters.



(i) The desirable characters a farmer looks for in his sugar cane crop are:

  • High sugar content.
  • High yield.
  • Thick stem.
  • Ability to grow all over India.
  • Disease resistance.

(ii) For breeding technique: Crop plants grown in tropical climates are attacked by many pathogens such as virus, bacteria, fungi etc. Crop losses caused by these pathogens are substantial reaching up to 20 - 30 percent and sometimes even total. If the crops are made disease resistant, food production is increased and use of fungicides and bactericides would be reduced. Ability of host plant to prevent the pathogen from causing disease is known as resistance. Resistance of the plant is due to its genetic constitution. If the plant lack this ability the desired change can be brought by plant breeding. Before breeding it is require to know the pathogen and the mode of transmission of important diseases.

Some diseases of crops are:

  • Fungal Diseases: Brown / black rust of wheaf red rot of sugarcane late blight of potato etc.
  • Bacterial Diseases: Citrus cancer, rust of rice, black rot of crucifers etc.
  • Viral Diseases: Tobacco mosaic, Turnip mosaic etc.

Method of Breeding for Disease Resistance:
Comprise of disease resistance in the only means of preventing disease like wheat rust, red rot of sugarcane etc. Disease resistance is the ability of the plant to remain unaffected even when attacked by the pathogens. When the host genotypes do not allow the pathogens to grow and florish over them, they form resistant host lines.

Some methods used for developing disease resistance are as follows:
Conventional Breeding Techniques: This method breeding for disease resistance consists of hybridization and selection. This includes:

  • Screening germplasm.
  • Hybridization of selected parents.
  • Selection and evolution of the hybrids.
  • Testing and release of new varieties.
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