Essay on Hybrid Seed Production in Flowers
Advantages of F1 hybrids:
The main advantage is the unique combination of appreciable vigour and uniformity. If selected judiciously, the FI hybrids have other advantages too.
Dwarf and compact plants, with basal branching, extremely free-blooming, early flowering, doubleness, large flowers, long duration of flowering, tolerance to heat and humidity and disease resistance.
The triploid hybrid Nugget, F1 hybrid of the African marigold being sterile, the absence of fertilisation and seed set has the unique ability of holding the flowers fresh on the plants for a longer period.
Geranium hybrids raised from seeds do not carry disease unlike cutting or slips.
Hybrid breeding techniques:
The F1 hybrid breeding process, though rewarding is long, costly and requires considerable skill.
The breeding cycle is accelerated by growing the breeding material out-of-season at any other suitable location.
The process of testing inbred lines, making test crosses and testing the resulting F1 hybrids are repeated several times to find a hybrid good enough to introduce.
The inbred lines come from the standard open pollinated varieties or occasionally from wild related species.
The best plants from each inbred line are selected for test crosses. The promising inbreeds are crossed with a large number of plants from a different inbred line or lines.
The F1 hybrids produced from these test crosses are then grown and observed in extensive greenhouse and field trials.
The year before a new hybrid is released, hundreds of samples are distributed to commercial plant growers. This provides additional information on performance and cultural method, under commercial conditions in each agro climatic regions.
There is a constant endeavour by flower breeders to produce new more attractive and brightly-coloured hybrids. With the advancements made in new bedding plant technology in USA such as automated systems, smaller containers, shorter crop time and energy stress, hybrid variety are tailored to meet the requirements of commercial floriculture.
Maintaining and improving hybrids:
Once a new hybrid is produced, the work is not over. The parent lines must be maintained and retested to make for sure some of the desirable, attributes of the hybrid are not lost. The uniformity in hybrids depends upon the genetic purity of parental lines.
Production of F1 hybrid seeds:
Most of the hybrid seed is produced by hand in greenhouse. Both emasculation and pollination are done by hand which enables the breeder to have a coider choice of parents for crossing.
In flowers of family compositae where emasculation by hand are difficult, like Marigold, Zinnia, male sterility is used for hybrid seed production.
Collection of pollen with the help of a vacuum pump, dehiscence of anthers for pollen under VU lamp, storage of pollen at cool temperature and use of pollen gun for pollination are some of the useful innovations technique for hybrid-seed production.
Harvesting of seeds at proper ripening stage, cleaning, and grading of seeds are essential processes before sale.
At every stage of production care is taken to avoid selfing or natural cross pollination or both to ensure complete hybridity and genetic purity.
Harvesting, processing and storage of seeds are done carefully so that there is no mechanical mixture.
Work done in India:
Pronounced hybrid vigour in Marigold, Antirrhinum, hollyhock, petunia.
Indo-American hybrid seeds: Commercial hybrid seed production in Petunia, Antirrhiunum, Geranium, Marigold and Gloxinia.
The hybrid seed production being labour intensive has a great potential for employment in youths in rural and semi-urban areas.
It may also generate gainful income by setting up of ancillary industries dealing with equipments and other facilities needed like greenhouse, small seed processing machinery, seed packaging etc.
Post Harvest Processing and Cold Storage
Post Harvest Losses:
i. India-third largest producer of food -600m. tonnes
ii. Horticulture Production -185 million tonnes
iii. 30% of fresh produce wasted.
iv. Only 1% of production is processed.
What is Agro Processing?
i. Involves transformation and preservation through physical or chemical alteration, storage, packing and distribution.
ii. Nature of processing and degree of transformation vary
Categories of Agro processing:
i. Chemical alteration
Agro-processing activities are as under.
Paddy processing units, Dal mills, Oil extraction, Sago manufacture from Tapioca, Milk processing units, Vegetable processing, Canning of mango pulp, Extraction of oils/ essential ingredients from super critical extraction method, Chicken meat processing.
Benefits derived from Processing:
Provides value addition, Provides choice to end user, Promotes retail boom.
Constraints of processing:
i. High prices
ii. Dominated by SSI units-to upgrade technology
iii. Lack of post harvest infrastructure-wastage.
iv. Difficulties in marketing
v. Non availability of raw materials.
Quality of final products to meet international standards (TQM, HACCP, GMP, GHP).