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Genetic Manipulation: Generative Versus Somatic

  • J. Sybenga
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 9)

Abstract

The objective of plant breeding is the production of a genotype or an adapted combination of genotypes that meet specific performance requirements. The means to realize this objective are the introduction and manipulation of genetic variation. By far the large majority of all plant breeding still depends on the generative cycle, although in some instances effective use has been made of the somatic phase at the plant level for the induction of variation by mutagenesis and polyploidization. The rapid and large-scale development of molecular and in-vitro cell techniques (see Bajaj 1986) is based primarily on the somatic phase, and application to the generative cycle lags far behind. It appears as if this will not change for a considerable period to come. It is not reasonable to expect that the new somatic approaches will ever be able to replace generative approaches in all or even most phases of plant breeding (Borlaug 1983), but in several instances it will soon be, or is already, necessary to make a choice. The increasing ease with which molecular and cell manipulations techniques can be applied will reduce the barrier against their application. Whereas a few years ago, shortage of capital and progressiveness were thought to be the main obstacles to the introduction of modern somatic techniques in practical breeding institutions, this is clearly changing. Some of these obstacles will remain, but the emphasis in the choice between molecular and cell biological somatic versus generative approaches will be placed more and more on the requirements of the breeding program and the real merits of the techniques.

Keywords

Plant Breeding Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Somaclonal Variation Protoplast Fusion Extra Chromosome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Sybenga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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