Plant Breeding: Art or Science?

November 5, 2012 05:04 AM

 The role of plant breeding has changed dramatically over the years, particularly as procedures that used to lean heavily on human instinct and insight have been replaced with high-tech computerized processes.

"We have fingerprinted thousands of inbreds and are using powerful computers to sort them all out," notes Joe Keaschall, DuPont Pioneer regional corn research director. "Computerization is speeding up a lot of our processes, whether we’re looking for genetic patterns of drought tolerance, strength against problems like Goss’s wilt or brittle snap, or any number of things."

And in the video below, Bayer CropScience global cotton breeding manager Lloyd McCall recalls how plant breeding methods have changed over the years, and how art still plays a role in good breeding programs.

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