The mode of reproduction determines the genetic constitution of crop plants i.e whether the plants are normally homozygous of heterozygous. This is turn determines the goal of the breeding programme
If the crop plants were naturally homozygous e.g. as in self-pollinated crops like wheat, a homozygous line would be desirable as a variety. But, if the plants are heterozygous naturally, as in cross-pollinated crops like maize, a heterozygous population has to be developed as a variety.
Consequently the breeding methods have to be vastly different for the two groups of crop plants. The knowledge of mode of reproduction of crop plants is also important of making artificial hybrids. Production of hybrids between diverse and desirable parents is the basis of almost all the modern plant breeding programmes.
MODES OF REPRODUCTION
Reproduction in crop plants maybe broadly grouped in to two categories.
- Asexual – Vegetative reproduction and apomixis