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Advanced Backcross Breeding

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This lesson is a detailed explanation of the backcross breeding process. Variations based on whether backcrossing is performed with dominant, recessive, or multiple traits are discussed. Calculations associated with backcross breeding are explained.

Overview and Objectives - Advanced Backcross Breeding

P. Stephen Baenziger
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Patricia Hain
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

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This lesson explains the importance of the backcross method in the development of improved crop varieties. The theory behind the method, plus its strengths, weaknesses and requirements will be discussed.

At the completion of this lesson you will be able to:

  • List the requirements of a successful backcrossing program.
  • Explain how to move a single gene from one variety to another.
  • Describe how two or more genes can be backcrossed into cultivars.
  • Discuss both the strengths and limitations of the backcrossing method.
  • Outline the importance of backcrossing in the development of transgenic crops.
  • Explain two reasons why backcross breeding is done.
  • Discuss how the backcrossing process for a dominant gene is different than that of a recessive gene.
  • Calculate the following:
    1. the percentage of non-target genes from the donor parent
    2. homozygosity of the parents in a generation
    3. the probability of eliminating an undesirable allele while backcrossing

Development of this lesson was supported in part by Cooperative State Research, Education, & Extension Service, U.S. Dept of Agriculture under Agreement Number 98-EATP-1-0403 administered by Cornell University and the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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