Pros and Cons of Four Types of Plant Breeding


In a plant breeding update that ran in Greenhouse Grower’s January 2024 issue and online here, Li Jiang of Syngenta Flowers said breeding is both an art and a science. In the future, she expects more of an emphasis on the science behind breeding. This includes cutting edge technology such as biotechnology, genetic management, and other tools using big data.

Pan also notes there are four types of breeding, with pros and cons for each.

Traditional breeding

  • Pros: popularly used; preserve genetic diversity, cost efficient
  • Cons: time consuming; usually bring along undesirable traits

Selective breeding

  • Pros: target on specific traits; faster than traditional breeding
  • Cons: selected traits are limited by existing gene pool; can reduce genetic diversity

Predictive breeding

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  • Pros: target on specific genetic traits; efficiency in breeding programs
  • Cons: require advanced genetic knowledge; can reduce genetic diversity if not handling right

Genetic Engineering

  • Pros: altering or introducing specific DNA sequences to achieve desired traits; faster
  • Cons: safety, environmental concerns; possible ethical concerns



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