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Feb 8

Explain the process of artificial hybridization in Plant Breeding?

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Feb 8
Artificial hybridization, also known as controlled or assisted pollination, is a process used in plant breeding to create new plant varieties with desired traits. It involves the deliberate cross-pollination of two different plants to combine their desirable characteristics and produce offspring with improved traits.

The process of artificial hybridization typically involves the following steps:

1. Selection of Parental Plants: The first step is to select two parent plants that possess the desired traits. These traits can include disease resistance, high yield, improved quality, or any other characteristic that the breeder wants to incorporate into the new variety.

2. Flower Emasculation: In order to prevent self-pollination and ensure controlled pollination, the breeder needs to remove the male reproductive organs (stamens) from the flower of the female parent plant. This process is known as emasculation and is done before the flower opens to avoid accidental pollination.

3. Pollination: Once the female parent plant is emasculated, the breeder transfers pollen from the male parent plant to the stigma of the emasculated flower. This can be done by using a brush or by directly placing the male flower onto the female flower. The pollen contains the male reproductive cells (pollen grains) that fertilize the female reproductive cells (ovules) in the ovary.

4. Bagging or Caging: After pollination, the emasculated flower is protected from unwanted pollination by covering it with a bag or cage. This prevents cross-pollination from other plants and ensures that only the desired pollen is used for fertilization.

5. Seed Development: Once fertilization occurs, the ovules develop into seeds within the ovary. The seeds will carry genetic material from both the male and female parent plants, resulting in offspring that exhibit a combination of traits from both parents.

6. Seed Harvesting: When the seeds are fully mature, they are harvested from the parent plant. The seeds are then cleaned, dried, and stored under appropriate conditions to maintain their viability.

7. Evaluation and Selection: The harvested seeds are sown, and the resulting plants are evaluated for the desired traits. The breeder selects the best-performing plants based on the desired traits and eliminates those that do not meet the criteria.

8. Repeated Selection and Breeding: The selected plants are further propagated and subjected to additional rounds of selection and breeding to stabilize and enhance the desired traits. This process may take several generations to achieve the desired level of uniformity and stability in the new plant variety.

Overall, artificial hybridization is a crucial technique in plant breeding as it allows breeders to combine desirable traits from different plants and create new varieties that are better adapted to specific environmental conditions or have improved agronomic characteristics.

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