Nature of Plant Breeding
Plant breeding is an art or science and is as old as agriculture, started since man learnt to cultivate the plants. In earlier days, man depends on his skill and judgement in selecting better plants. His knowledge about the plant was very limited. He knew nothing about the inheritance of characters, role of environment in producing them and the basis of variation in various plant characters. His method of selection was designed without the understanding of the principle of inheritance. Therefore during primitive time plant breeding was largely an art and very less science was involved in that, but the present breeding methods are entirely based on the scientific principles of plant sciences, particularly of genetics a cytogenetic. Thus, plant breeding is purely science with very little art involved. Science is the knowledge gathered through scientific method. The scientific method consists of observation, formulation of hypothesis, experimentation and conclusion either to accept or reject the hypothesis.
Plant breeding is considered as the current phase of crop evolution. As the knowledge of genetics and other related science progresses plant breeding become less art and more science. Especially discovery of Mendels work in 1900, added lot to the knowledge of science. Selection of desirable plant even today is an art it depends on the skill of a person but alone skill is not enough, modern plant breeding is based on through understanding and use of genetics principles.
To be successful, a plant breeder must know each and everything about the crop with he is working. He should have an understanding of principles of difference disciplines viz. genetics, cytology, Morphology and Taxonomy, plant Physiology , Plant Pathology, Entomology, Agronomy, and Soil Science, Biochemistry, Statistics, and Biometrics. Computer and Plant biotechnology. Thus plant breeding is an art science and a technology of developing genetically superior plants in terms of the economics utility for the mankind.