Speed breeding- Increasing Crop Breeding in Less Time

Dr. Md. Monirul Islam:Speed breeding accelerates plant breeding research, allowing for quicker varietal development, traits dissection, crossing, population mapping, backcrossing, a pyramiding of multiple traits into a single genotype for the development of multiple disease resistance, and the exploration of new phenotyping possibilities for specific desired traits as well as transgenic pipelines.

Speed breeding can be used in combination with other modern breeding techniques such as single seed descent (SSD), double haploid, embryo rescue, high-throughput genotyping and phenotyping, genome editing, genomic selection, and DNA markers, to speed up research on crop improvement by cutting down on generation times, assessing hybridity, cultivar purity, and introducing genes quickly into recurrent parent backgrounds.

In the breeding context, speed breeding technology can accelerate the development of better cultivars by advancing homozygosity after crossing and quick cycling. Genomic selection (GS) accelerates the selection accuracy of superior genotypes, and germplasm enhancement (pre-breeding) and help in the selection of targeted gene for particular traits from gene bank accession to elite lines other approaches like hyperspectral image technology integrated with genomic selection and pedigree assisted breeding to explore a faster way for rapid introgression of genes from elite or wild accession to cultivated crop is used to predict the genotypic value, combined with high throughput genotyping systems such as SNPs, sequencing platforms for the improvement of quantitative traits. Molecular marker such as RAPD, RFPL, SSR, SNP, CAPS, etc. is used to detect phenotypic variation at the genomic level which accelerates marker-assisted selection (MAS) for crop improvement. Marker assisted-selection comprises the selection of the QTL-associated markers that have a major effect and significantly contribute to economic traits. The genomic selection offers an opportunity for rapid genetic gain, and reduced breeding cycle to at least half the conventional breeding discovery of QTLs and QTLs associated marker significantly increased grain yield and performance of cultivars.

Although speed breeding protocol has been standardized for some vegetable crops such as pepper (Capsicum annuum), tomato (Solanum Lycopersicon), radish (Raphanus sativus), pea (Pisum sativum), Amaranthus (Amaranthus spp), soybean (Glycine max), Onion (Allium sativum) and till yet research work has been progressed for standardized and development of speed breeding protocol in legumes, leafy and herb vegetable crops. Speed breeding methods have already been standardized to accelerate rapid generation advancement and genetic gain in Amaranthus, peanut, wheat, rice, sunflower, tomato, etc.

Writer:Senior Scientist, ASRBC, ACI Seed