Mar 13, 2017

Breeding & Genetic improvement WCRC Breeding-NorthAmerica WCRC1
Introduction                                                                Back to Table of contents

Of all management strategies applied to crop production, selection of a cultivar with enhanced genetics is the most significant.  The extent of genetic expression contributing to the performance of a crop in its environment is often overlooked or taken for granted because of its effectiveness.  For a producer, susceptibility of the crop to a pest is like a thorn in a finger:  the wounded member receives the attention and little thought is given to how well the other fingers function.  Consider, however, the fact that all plant-feeding or infesting organisms not pests on the crop, are not pests because the crop is genetically resistant to them.  An organism is a pest only when it has developed mechanisms to overcome the defensive systems of the crop genotype.  The genetic constituency of the cultivar defines the baseline for stress and pest resistance, and for quality and quantity of the harvested components.  The effectiveness of other management strategies is ultimately confined within the boundaries of this genetic potential.  Thus, the higher the genetically deter­mined base­line, the lower will be the managerial and material input required in the production system...

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