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Technology Description

During wide hybridization in plant breeding, crosses often do not result in hybrid plants because of embryo abortion. Using in vitro breeding techniques like hybrid embryo rescue, it is possible to save such crosses and develop hybrids not otherwise possible. It is thus a boon to the breeder and is attractive as a non-GM biotechnology for introducing desired genes in a crop/variety. We have demonstrated this in

  • Fruit crops (seedless grape, seedless lime, mango, papaya, banana) &  Vegetable crops (capsicum, onion, tomato and brinjal)


Products and  By- products

  • New hybrids and genetic combinations of crop genotypes possible that conventional breeding cannot provide


Technology Benefits

  • Successful in incompatible / interspecific / intergeneric crosses;  also useful in crosses where immature fruit-drop is very high
  • Seedless crops, eg., Thompson Seedless grape, can be used (even as the female parent)
  • A practical alternative to GM crops; attracts no opposition


Target segment /End User Profile

Private companies involved in commercial breeding of horticultural crops

  • This technology can be applied to any crop and Joint Venture can be entered into with companies desiring specific cross-combinations


Market potential

  • Penetration of niche markets (since such hybrids cannot be developed conventionally)


Investment Required

  • Existing R&D tissue culture laboratories housed with the seed companies can be used as an ancillary facility


Expected Returns/Profit

The technology is cross/crop specific. For example, in Thompson Seedless grape, Downy Mildew disease can cause 100% crop-loss. A resistant hybrid developed through embryo rescue would give 100% success as against zero success in traditional breeding. Similarly, in brinjal, when Solanum macrocarpon is used as a parent for developing resistance to shoot & fruit borer, hybrids cannot be generated conventionally. But, this is possible through embryo rescue, a knowledge and skill-intensive technology. Such approaches are an alternative solution to GM foods like Bt brinjal, etc.