PRINCIPLES OF PLANT BREEDING:- Introduction to plant breeding-history, objectives, achievements in the pre-Mendelian era, post-Mendelian plant breeding, potential, and opportunities.

Introduction, domestication, and acclimatization. Patterns of evolution in crop plants, Centres of origin, gene pool concept – primary, secondary and tertiary gene pool, and gene introgression.
Plant genetic resources: Importance of plant genetic resources and diversity in plant breeding, collection, evaluation, and conservation of germplasm.

Modes of reproduction in plants – asexual & sexual reproduction, self and-cross-pollination mechanisms, male-sterility, and self-incompatibility.

Genetic bases of plant breeding: Genetic consequences of self and cross-fertilization, genetics of self-incompatibility. Mating systems – genetic & phenotypic assortative and disassortative matings and their genetic consequences; Qualitative & quantitative traits and their genetic behaviour in segregating populations; Components of variation, single gene and multiple gene concepts, epistasis and gene interactions; Heritability and genetic advance; Selection – responses to selection, selection differential, intensity and realized advance; Heterosis – concept and theories, inbreeding depression.

Methods of breeding self-pollinated, cross-pollinated and asexually propagated crops; Landraces, pure line selection, and mass selection; Pedigree selection, bulk method, and its modification; Hybrid breeding, populations, and population improvement, intra and inter-population improvement; Clonal selection.

Mutation breeding, use of polyploidy and distant hybridization in plant breeding.
Mechanisms and genetic bases of resistance/tolerance to biotic and
abiotic stresses in plants, breeding for resistance/tolerance.

Application of biotechnology to plant breeding – embryo rescue, somaclonal variation, doubled haploidy, protoplast fusion, transgenics, molecular plant breeding, biosafety issues involved with genetically modified organisms.

Release and registration of new varieties, quality seed – classes, production practices and maintenance of pure seed, seed purity standards, UPOV convention and convention on biodiversity.

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