STAGES OF GENETIC IMPROVEMENT
Modern genetic improvement has two stages:
- The first is to achieve genetic variability using different techniques.
- The second consists of selecting the crops thus developed until varieties adapted to specific conditions are obtained.
Until the twentieth century there were virtually no advances in plant breeding, since the crosses that were produced were not intentional, and therefore biodiversity was not promoted.
The development of new plant varieties through genetic improvement is a complex activity that requires a large long-term financial investment: the choice of the parental lines that are capable of transmitting the characteristics sought, the cross-breeding, the selection and subsequent purification, etc.
These are activities which, depending on the species, take up to 10 or 12 years and involve costly investments in equipment and technical staff. So the average cost of putting a new variety on the market amounts to several million Euro.
The purpose of plant genetic improvement is to increase the yield, quality, and/or reduce the production costs of foods, decorative plants, and other industrial products that come from growing plants.
Keeping in mind the satisfaction of the population, the producer, and the environment itself.
Different genetic procedures can be used to select or improve plants and crops. The choice of one or the other depends on the characteristics of each species and the human and economic resources available, but they always have the common goal of achieving an increase in production or substantial improvement in the different varieties in order to meet the needs of the population.