The best plant parents: Genetically as divergent as possible with similar preferences

Last changed: 15 June 2020

Selected news 
by Mistra Biotech

"A team of researchers led by IPK Gatersleben has succeeded in providing answers to a long unsolved question in the breeding of plant hybrids. Their conclusions: the more diverse in genetics, than better, but only in cases of similar preferences.

It has been shown that hybrids become increasingly productive depending on the genetic distance between their parents. The question of whether there is an optmimal genetic distance can definitely be answered negatively, assuming that the parents are adapted to similar environments. This study is published in Science Advances."

"'Thanks to progress in quantitative genetics, we were able to show that there is no optimum for the genetic distance of the parents,' explains Prof. Dr. Jochen Reif. He heads the Department of Breeding Research at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) and the affiliated Quantitative Genetics research group there. 'Heterosis increases steadily with the genetic distance between the parents. Parent populations can be as far apart as possible without their offspring losing performance.'." - Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research 12/6


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