plant breeding

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plant breeding,

science of altering the genetic pattern of plants in order to increase their value. Increased crop yield is the primary aim of most plant-breeding programs; advantages of the hybrids and new varieties developed include adaptation to new agricultural areas, greater resistance to disease and insects, greater yield of useful parts, better nutritional content of edible parts, and greater physiological efficiency. Other goals are adaptation of crops to modern production techniques such as mechanical harvesting and improvement in the market quality of the product.

Traditionally, plant breeders have made genetic changes in crops by using various crossing and selection methods, creating desirable hybridshybrid
, term applied by plant and animal breeders to the offspring of a cross between two different subspecies or species, and by geneticists to the offspring of parents differing in any genetic characteristic (see genetics).
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; breeders also now attempt to induce favorable genetic mutationsmutation,
in biology, a sudden, random change in a gene, or unit of hereditary material, that can alter an inheritable characteristic. Most mutations are not beneficial, since any change in the delicate balance of an organism having a high level of adaptation to its environment
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 by the use of ultraviolet light, gamma radiation, or chemicals. With the development of genetic engineeringgenetic engineering,
the use of various methods to manipulate the DNA (genetic material) of cells to change hereditary traits or produce biological products. The techniques include the use of hybridomas (hybrids of rapidly multiplying cancer cells and of cells that make a
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, plant breeders have increasingly used its techniques to introduce desirable traits (i.e., genes), often from other species, into cultivated plants.

See also breedingbreeding,
in agriculture and animal husbandry, propagation of plants and animals by sexual reproduction; usually based on selection of parents with desirable traits to produce improved progeny.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Today, however, no rational young scientist interested in molecular techniques of crop breeding would choose a base in Continental Europe.
Transparent soils and imaging technologies will be patented and could pave the way for 3D chemical sensors, and have application in crop breeding and precision phenotyping.
Crop breeding technology is making rapid progress in resistance to diseases, as well as in resistance to substances that can be used for chemical weed control.
David Shaw added: "Working with Katherine Steele has allowed us to tap into her cutting-edge, crop breeding skills.
To fill that order, Porter teamed with several experts in pulse crop breeding and legume genetics--namely Kevin McPhee and Shalu Jain at North Dakota State University-Fargo, Norman Weeden at Montana State University-Bozeman, and Sanford Eigenbrode at the University of Idaho-Moscow.
Publicly-funded crop breeding programs supported by AGRA since 2007 have released 464 new varieties of 15 important crop species developed for specific African climates and soils.
At present, we have cooperated in seven fields and launched two pilot projects, including major crop breeding, rural informatization, TB-drugs and polio vaccines, and Green Super Rice," Zhang said.
But since the green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when the use of chemicals and pesticides reduced crop losses through pests and diseases, we now have crop breeding and there is a move to create a new green revolution for the 21st Century.
DNA markers have proved valuable in crop breeding, especially in studies on genetic diversity and gene mapping.
Also, the committee noted the focus should be on "how to adequately raise productivity to meet the world food needs, rather than get distracted by historic disputes, such as biotechnology versus traditional crop breeding, organic farming versus conventional farming, or food versus fuel production.
They cover predictions of climate change within the context of agriculture, adapting to biotic and abiotic stresses through crop breeding, sustainable and resource-conserving technologies for adapting to and mitigating climate change, and new tools for enhancing crop adaptation to climate change.
But the group said it would not be possible to cut farming's emissions further without more research and development into animal and crop breeding and nutrition.