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History of Plant Breeding

Several significant contribution have been made in plant breeding by varies workers from time to time. The significant landmarks made in the history of plant breeding are briefly presented in ascending order.

Landmark in Plant Breeding:

1717: Thomas Fairchild: Developed first Inter specific hybrid between sweat William and Carnation Species of Dianthus.

1800: Knight, T.A (English): First used Artificial Hybridization in Fruit Crops.

1840: John Le Couteur: They developed the concept of progeny test individual plant selection in cereals.

1856: De Vimorin (French Biologist): Further elaborated the concept of progeny test and used same in Sugarbeet.

1865: Mendel, G.J (Austria): Discovered principles of inheritance in garden pea.

1890: Rimpu (Sweden): First made inheritance cross between bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rye ( Secale cereale ), which later on gave birth to triticale.

1900: De Varies (Holland) Correns (Germany) Tschermak ( Austria) Rediscovered Mendel laws of inheritance independently.

1900: Nilson, H (Swedish) :  Elaborated individual plant selection method.

1903: Johannsen, W.L: Developed the concept of pure line.

1908: Shull, G.H (US) East , E.M ( US) proposed over dominance hypothesis independently working with maize.

1908: Devenport, C.B: First proposed dominance hypothesis of heterosis. 

1910: Bruce, A.B. keable, F. and Pellew, C. Elaborated the dominance hypothesis of heterosis proposed by davenport.

1914: Shull, G.H: First used the term heterosis for hybrid vigour.

1919: Hays, H.K. Garber, R.J Gave initial idea about recurrent selection. They first suggested use of synthetic varieties for commercial cultivation in maize.

1920: East E.M and Jones, D.F, also gave initial idea about recurrent selection.

1925: East, E.M and Mangelsdorf, A.J: First discovered gametophytic system of self incompatibitlity in Nicotiana sanderae.

1926: Vavilov, N.I: Identified 8 main centers and 3 sub centers of crop diversity. He also developed concept of parallel series of variation or law of homologous series of variation.

1928: Stadler, L.J (US): First used X-rays for induction of mutations.

1936: East, E.M: Supported over dominance hypothesis of heterosis proposed by East and Shull in 1908.

1939: Goulden, C.H: First suggested the use of single seed descent method for advancing segregating generations of self pollinating crops.

1940: Jenkins, M.T: Described the procedure of recurrent selection.

1945: Hull, F.H: Coined the terms recurrent selection and overdominance working with maize.

1950: Hughes and Babcock:  First discovered sporophytic system of self incompatibility in Crepis foetida.

1952: Jensen, N.F:  First suggested the use of multi lines in oats.

1953: Borlaug, N.E: First outlined the method of developing multi lines in Wheat.

1964: Borlaug, N.E: Developed high yielding semi dwarf varieties of wheat which resulted in green revolution.

1965: Grafius, J.E: First applied Single Seed Descent (SSD) method in oats.

1970: Patel, C.T: Developed world’s first cotton hybrid for commercial cultivation in India.

1976: Yuan Long Ping et al: Developed world’s first rice hybrid ( CMS based) for commercial cultivation in China.

1987: Monsanto: Developed world’s transgonic cotton plant in USA.

1991: ICRISAT: Developed world’s first pigeon pea hybrid (ICPH 8) for commercial cultivation in India.

1908: Monsanto. USA: Identificaton of traitor gene, which responds to specific brand of fertilizers and insecticides.

Indian Scientist:

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan – Mutation breeding, developed semidwarf wheat varieties at IARI, New Delhi.

1) Maheshwari and Guha (1964)- Produced haploid plant in Vitro from pollen grain.
2) Barber and T.S venkatraman – Nobilization of sugarcane.
3) Dr. Athwal – Pioneer of Bajara breeder.
4) Ramiah- Pioneer of rice breeder
5) Dr. N.G.P. Rao – Sorghum breeder.
6) Dr. Yogendra Nerkar- Former vice Chanceller of M.P.K.V develops Prabhavati mutant Rice variety.

Current Category » Principles of Plant Breeding