What is Plant Breeding / Plant Genetics?
Plant breeding is the science involved with the study of genetics in botany. It involves working with plant genes in order to isolate them and then develop certain plant traits. Once a certain trait, such as plant height, fruit sweetness, or tolerance to cold is found, a plant geneticist works to improve breeding methods to ensure that future plant generations possess the desired traits.
What does a Plant Breeder / Plant Geneticist do?
Plant geneticists develop methods of making produce more nutritious, or altering plant pigments to make the food more attractive. Plant breeders utilise many techniques to change the genetics of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. The techniques range from simple selection of plants with desirable characteristics to complex molecular techniques. Classical plant breeding uses deliberate interbreeding (crossing) of closely or distantly related individuals to produce new crop varieties or lines with desirable properties. Plants are crossbred to introduce traits/genes from one variety or line into a new genetic background. For example, a mildew-resistant pea may be crossed with a high-yielding but susceptible pea, the goal of the cross being to introduce mildew resistance without losing the high-yield characteristics. Progeny from the cross would then be crossed with the high-yielding parent to ensure that the progeny were most like the high-yielding parent, (backcrossing). The progeny from that cross would then be tested for yield and mildew resistance and high-yielding resistant plants would be further developed. Plants may also be crossed with themselves to produce inbred varieties for breeding. Classical breeding relies largely on homologous recombination between chromosomes to generate genetic diversity. The classical plant breeder may also makes use of a number of in vitro techniques such as protoplast fusion, embryo rescue or mutagenesis to generate diversity and produce hybrid plants that would not exist in nature.
Various courses at undergraduate and post graduate level are offered at many universities
(1.) B.Sc. Genetics, B.Sc. (Genetics and Plant breeding)
(2.) Eligibility: Different universities have different eligibility criteria but mostly universities offer
(1.) M.Sc Genetics, M.Sc. (Genetics and Plant breeding)
(2.) Eligibility: different universities have different eligibility criteria but mostly B.Sc. Botany/ Zoology/ Bio- Chemistry/ B.Sc. (Ag.)/ B.V.Sc. / MBBS students are eligible for Post graduate course.
Course in Genetics is offered at Undergraduate level at
(1.) Osmania University, Hyderabad, B.Sc.
(2.) University of Poona, Pune, B.Sc.
(3.) Kakatiya University, Warangal, B.Sc.
(4.) Lucknow University, UP, B.Sc.
(5.) SRM university, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu offers B.Tech in Genetics
Universities with courses in Genetics and Plant Breeding
(1.) BHU, Varanasi, UP M.Sc.
(2.) Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, UP, M.Sc.
(3.) Annamalai University, Tamilnadu, M.Sc.
(4.) Calcutta University, West Bengal, M.Sc.
(5.) CCS University, Meerut, M.Sc, M.Phil.
(6.) Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, M.Sc.
(7.) University of Kerala, Thiruvananthpuram, Kerala , M.Sc.
Other universities offering course in genetics are
(1.) University of Delhi, Delhi Offers M.Sc.. - Eligibility: B.Sc. with the requisite percentage of marks and with such additional qualifications as may be prescribed from time to time.
(2.) Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana Offers M.Sc., - Eligibility: An overall grade point average of 2.25 (4.00 basis) of 53% marks in aggregate at graduate level.
(3.) Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab Offers M.Sc
(4.) Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Offers M.Sc.
Some other reputed colleges are
(1.) University Institute of Engineering and Technology, South campus, Panjab University Chandigarh
(2.) Delhi Technological University, New Delhi (Formerly Delhi College of Engineering)
(3.) Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi
(4.) Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for women, New Delhi .
Famous plant geneticists:
(1.) Benjamin Peary Pal, Plant breeder and geneticist, architect of Indian Green revolution, worked in wheat hybrid.
(2.) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Plant Geneticist, contributed to the Green Revolution in India, introduced new species such as soybean, sunflower, low chilling and temperate fruits.
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