Importance Of Plant Breeding In Agriculture OF Pakistan

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Pant breeding

Plant breeding in a simple language is genetic improvement of plants for the best economic productivity. It could also be defined in terms of art and science of changing and improving the hereditary of plants.


Plant breeding was practiced first when people learned to look for superior plants to harvest for seed, thus selection became the earliest method of plant breeding. Primitive efforts in plant selection contributed much to the evolutionary development of each of the cultivated crops. These all efforts were done unintentionally. As human knowledge about plants increased, people were able to select more intelligently. With the discovery of sex in plants hybridization was added to breeding techniques. Although hybridization was practiced before the time of Mendel it’s significance in inheritance was not clearly understood. Thus Mendel provided a basis for understanding the mechanism of heredity and how it may be manipulated in the development of a improved varieties.

A more precise explanation of the heredity mechanism has become possible in recent years with the explanation in our knowledge of molecular genetics. The art of plant breeding lies in the ability of the breeder to observe the difference that may have economic value in plants of the same species. The breeder of old times relied largely in selecting superior types. Many breeders were good observers quick to recognize variations among plants of the same species which could be used as the basis for establishing a new varieties. For them plant breeding was largely an art. Many of the early breeders use to grow and multiply the plants that accidentally appeared as off type in their fields or gardeners. Some like Luther Burbank were professionals who searched far and wide for unusual plant types that could be developed and exploited commercially.

As the breeder knowledge of genetic and related plants sciences progressed plants breeding less of an art and more of a science. No longer was it necessary for breeders to rely so completely on their skills in finding chance variations with which to establish new varieties. It now has become possible to create new types more or less at will. Through scientific knowledge breeders have the background to manipulate and to direct the inheritance of plants. Although skill in the art of selection is important to plant breeders just as it was to the breeder of the past, now skill is alone not enough.

Modern plant breeding

Modern plants breeding is based on through understanding and utilization of genetic principles. It presupposes knowledge of the botanical characteristics of the species, of plant diseases and their epidemiology, of insects pest that feed upon the different plants species, of physiological factors related to adaptation of plants, and of biochemical characteristic affecting utilizing and nutritive value. With out this precise knowledge and background, modern breeders could neither explore not comprehend the vast range of breeding problems involved. A modern plant breeder therefore at a time, needs to be a geneticist, cytogenetic botanist pathologist entomologist physiologist biochemist and statistician. This age has no room for hit or mass method in breeding, which are costly, inefficient and time consuming. It is essential that the modern breeder have training in important areas of knowledge related to plant breeding. These sciences are the tools with which the plant breeders works. The plant plant breeders uses this knowledge obtained from these disciplines of sciences to evolve new varieties and the plant germ plasm available to the breeder act as a raw material for this purpose

Participatory plant breeding

Participatory plant breeding is when farmer involved in a crop improvement programme with opportunities to make a decision and contribute to the research process at different stages. The strategy of plant breeding

The strategy of plant breeding is relatively simple. The basic elements of this strategy include :

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  • It is to recognise the traits of economic importance in plant species.
  • TO evaluate the genetic potential of these traits in combination with other traits of interest.
  • TO search out sources of genes for the desired traits that may be utilised in a breeding program.
  • TO devise means and methods for incorporating these traits into an improved variety.
  • Evaluation of the improved strain in different climatic conditions for at least three years in comparison with other varieties under cultivation with respect to yield, quality and disease reaction etc.
  • If the improved strain proves its worth only then it is made available to farmers for general cultivation.

Why breed plants

The reasons for manipulating plant attributes or performance change according to the needs of society. Plants provide food, feed, fibber, pharmaceuticals, and shelter for humans. Further more plants are used for aesthetic and other functional purposes in the land scape and indoors.

Goals of plant breeding

Yield increases

Yield increases in crops has been accomplished in a variety of ways including targeting yield per se or its components, or making plants resistant to economic diseases and breeding for plants that are responsive to the production requirements. Yield also increases due to modern agronomic practices.

Enhancement of compositional traits

Breeding for plant compositional traits to enhance nutritional quality or to meet and industrial need are major plant breeding goals. High protein crop varieties (e.g,high lysine or quality protein maize) have been produced in various parts of the world. Different kinds of wheat for different kinds of products (e.g bread, pasta cookies, semolina). Genetic engineering technology has been to produce high oleic sunflower for used to enhance nutritional value of crops (e G, pro vitamin, A golden rice) the shelf life increases through these plant breeding and genetic.

Crop adaptation

Crop plants are produced in regions to which they are not native, because breeders have developed cultivars with modified physiology to cope with the variations, for example in the duration of day length Photoperiod-insensitive cultivars will flower and produce seed under any day length conditions. The duration of the growing period varies from one region of world to another.

Success stories

The application of breeding in crop improvement has produced many achievements leading to extraordinary growth in agricultural productivity, urged by government devotion to agricultural research and development sectors. The “Green Revolution” was the expansion of short-height and fertiliser-responsive plants like rice and wheat. By using these varieties rice production grew by 32% and wheat by 51%. At present without these proceeds, it can be predictable that there would be enormous food deficiencies in the world


The performance of indigenous varieties of maize, cereals, and other staple foods are far low from the new varieties. The yield of major crops like maize can be about 80% below their potential. Poorly functioning seed systems are the major cause for this yield gap. To ensure food security therefore not only approachable plant breeding programmes but also successful seed delivery systems are needed that develop high quality and well-modified improved seed varieties that gather the needs and preferences of small farmers.

A speedily growing population is increasing food and other basic demands of human and good quality land, water and soil are becoming scarcer. The basic fertilizers like phosphorous and nitrogen become more and more limited and costly directs the breeders to produce plant varieties that can survive in extreme climates like fewer rainfalls, high temperatures, less resources and pest and disease attacks. Plants that utilize resources more powerfully or need smaller amount of resources altogether advance the sustainability of agricultural as well as urban and forest ecosystems. New crop varieties must also be breed that develops both soil and human health.


Plant breeding is defined as the practice of choosing plants with the most desirable qualities to develop young one that possessed these desired traits. It aims to develop improved crop cultivars to satisfy a variety of needs and overcome a multitude of challenges. Cultivars are needed for different growing environments are varying; rain-fed vs irrigated farming, upland vs paddy rice production. That cultivar which are insect and disease resistant are often highly desirable, especially where pesticides are ineffective or restricted. Plant Breeders also work out to produce crop varieties that according to consumer taste, satisfy cooking preferences, adhere to food safety regulations, enhance nutritional quality or behave best when used for industrial applications.

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Importance Of Plant Breeding In Agriculture OF Pakistan. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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