FIELD CROP RESEARCH
The company’s R&D program has been recognized by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. This recognition comes after rigorous inspection of the company’s research infrastructure by the government in conjunction with scientists from various institutions. The wide-ranging inspection covers all research components: farms, germplasm base, inbreds and hybrids developed, seed testing and laboratory facilities, conditioning and storage, data processing, and personnel.
Our research station is situated in Hyderabad; this southern city is ideal for year-round growing. Germplasm and parent seed are stored in the company’s climate-controlled warehouse. The company has thousands of accessions and inbred lines.
All of this permits Plantgene to set high standards for its hybrids. Germination, physical and genetic purity, vigor, pest and disease resistance, suitable maturity time, toughness, staygreen, and of course, superior yields, are among our top breeding objectives.
In simple terms, a hybrid is a cross of two or more unrelated lines of a particular crop. The hybrid progeny of this cross exhibits traits from both parents. But it also benefits from a unique phenomenon called “heterosis”, or hybrid vigor. This vigor is the key to hybrid crop productivity.
Plantgene has an enormous germplasm base of accessions and inbreds, including both CMS and restorer lines.
As in any reproductive process, the basic traits of a hybrid come from the genetic characteristics of its parents. These parents are two inbred lines. Plantgene excels in inbred development. The quality of proprietary inbreds used as parents of Plantgene hybrids is responsible for their popularity. All Plantgene hybrids are proprietary.
Several generations of intensive testing, selection and inbreeding produce a parent line with the characteristics sought by the Plantgene breeder. Once the breeder is convinced that an inbred has potential as a hybrid parent, he crosses it with other promising inbreds to make a hybrid combination.
Having made several combinations, these are tested against commercial hybrids of competitors. Finally, a winning hybrid combination is selected. This is then tested in various locations across India for several seasons before being selected for commercial release in the market. Once a winner is selected, breeder seed of the inbreds is produced, followed by parent seed, and finally commercial hybrid seed for sale to farmers.
From inbred development to commercial release, a hybrid could well take 5-7 years.The hybrid development process may seem overly lengthy. But experience has taught us that there is no substitute for thoroughness while creating new hybrids.
A diverse germplasm base enables Plantgene to develop top-performing hybrids.