If we look at the literal definition of ‘breeding’, then we can translate it into: ‘to make better or more valuable’. Plant breeding is the science of adapting genetics from plants to get more benefits for human beings. If we look more specifically to plant breeding, we find: ‘to recombine favorable characteristics in crops through cross-breeding, selection and other methods’. That’s exactly what we are doing if we are breeding plants. We are looking for the best characteristics (in quality and quantity) in different parents or mother plants, and we combine these by crossing. We bring the pollen from the father plant to the pistil of the mother. Seeds will then arise (sexual propagation) which is the offspring from both parents. From these little seedlings we select the best plants for cloning, and after testing these clones we will decide which ones will be the new varieties after a strong selection. Or in other words ‘the art of throwing away’! Summarized you can find the different breeding steps of vegetative propagated crops in the breeding schedule. These apply to crops which are propagated by cloning or cuttings in vitro or in vivo. On the other hand there are also the crops propagated by seeds: the hybrids.
The development of varieties takes place at the beginning of the chain from breeding to consumer, and therefore it is important for a breeder to be looking through the eyes of the consumer, the florist, the grower and the wholesaler. So when looking at the beginning of the chain, we are planning our breeding program with its specific goals with special focus on the market. The breeding of varieties is a long path, and any ongoing search will be taking many years. The search for opportunities, combinations and new concepts which must eventually be translated in a practicable breeding program takes time, but with the expertise of BREEDIT you can make a good start at your own location. If you are already breeding yourself, it is worth having an independent sparring partner who is inspiring and complementing and is having new ideas.