THEORY AND ADVANCED PLANT BREEDING:- Components of variation and their estimation in single gene polygenes segregating populations, breeding values, additive and non-additive genetic components, epistatic components, variance components among early and advanced generation segregating populations, effective population size – their significance in decision making in plant breeding.


Selection theory: Types of selection, response to selection, selection advance, criteria of selection, selection limits, direct and indirect selection, multitrait selection, and construction of selection index, correlated response.

Heterosis and genetic bases of heterosis; Prediction of heterosis, estimation, and evaluation; F2 heterosis – genetic degeneracy consequences.
Breeding methods of self-pollinated crops: Pedigree and bulk selection and their genetic consequences, Grid selection (adoption of honey-comb, fan or other such designs) in breeding populations; Multiline- clean and dirty crop approach, genetic consequences, advantages, and disadvantages; Recurrent selection and hybrid breeding.

Breeding methods for cross-pollinated crops: Mass selection, recurrent selection, and population improvement; Intra-population improvement selection based on individual, family and combining ability; Inter-population improvement; Breeding composite and synthetic populations.

Hybrid breeding: Hybrids in self and cross-pollinated crops – their genetic bases, heterotic pool concept; Development and improvement of heterotic pools and inbred lines, evaluation of inbred lines and hybrids; Production of hybrid seed – use of male-sterility & its restoration mechanisms and genetic manipulation in hybrid breeding, apomixis in fixing heterosis.

Genetic characteristics of pure lines, inbreds, hybrids, clones, mixtures & multi-lines, composites and synthetics, their maintenance and multiplication.

Mating designs: Plant breeding applications, genetic component analyses through diallel, North Carolina designs, line X tester mating design and three-factor mating designs – covariances, genetic parameters, heritability, combining abilities, genetic parameters, heritability, progeny evaluation and parental selection, decision making options in the development of breeding strategies for improvement of the target traits.

Genotype X Environment interaction: Analysis of variance over multiple environments, Stability models – Regression approaches, estimation of stability indices; Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP).

Molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS): Types of molecular markers, their inheritance, and mapping molecular markers, MAS for qualitative traits like abiotic and biotic stress resistance, Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) – Mapping QTLs, MAS for QTL improvement, Regression approach, single marker, and multiple marker approach, interval-markers
approach, selection for combining ability through molecular markers.

Transgenic varieties – expression and variation in the transgenes, potential, concerns and relative advantages, biosafety issues of genetic implications.


Eminent Plant Breeders and their achievements; Breeding methods of specific crops like cereals (wheat, rice, barley, maize, sorghum and millets); pulses (gram, pea, lentil, pigeon pea, mungbean, cowpea and Lathyrus); oilseeds (Brassica, soybean, groundnut), fibre crops (cotton, jute); forage crops (oat, berseem) and asexually propagated crops; National and international institutes for crop improvement

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