International development agencies believe that breeding new crops is important for ensuring food security by developing new varieties that are higher-yielding, resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant or regionally adapted to different environments and growing conditions.
The objectives may be,
a) Crop improvement
b) Improved agronomic characters
c) Resistance against biotic and abiotic stress
1. Increased yield
Majority of our breeding programmes aims at increased yield. This is achieved by developing more efficient genotypes. The classical examples are utilization of Dee Gee Woo Gen in rice and Norin10 in wheat. Identification and utilization of male sterility.
2. Improving the quality
-Rice -milling, cooking quality, aroma and grain colour
-Wheat- milling and baking quality and gluten content.
-Pulses -Protein content and improving sulphur containing amino acids
-Oilseeds- PUFA content
3. Elimination of toxic substance
-HCN content in jowar plants
- Lathyrogen content in Lathyrus sativus (βN oxalyamine alanine BOAA)
-Erucic acid in Brassicas
-Cucurbitacin in cucurbits
4. Resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses
-Biotic stress: Evolving pests and diseases resistant varieties there by reducing cost of cultivation, environmental pollution and saving beneficial insects.
-Abiotic stress: It is location specific problem. Soil factors and edaphic factors sometimes poses severe problems. Breeding resistant varieties is the easy way to combat abiotic stress.
5. Change in maturity duration – Evolution of early maturing varieties
6. Improved agronomic characters -Production of more tillers – E.g. Rice, Bajra,
7. Reducing the plant height to prevent lodging – Rice
8. Photoinsensitivity – Redgram, sorghum
9. Non-shattering nature – Green gram, Brassicas
10. Synchronized maturity – Pulses
11. Determinate Growth habit –determinate growth – Pulses
12. Elimination or introduction of dormancy –Groundnut