Hybrids vs OP varieties [Was: Genetic engineering is a Good Thing?]

Ian Staples ianst at refer.to.signature.au
Sun Sep 20 18:08:33 EST 1998

In article <msachs-2009981204130001 at marty7.agn.uiuc.edu>, 
msachs at uiuc.edu (Marty Sachs) wrote:

>Yes, seed companies put their resources into developing better inbreds,
>which in turn produce better hybrids.  However, IMHO, the revolutionary
>aspect with respect to farmers was that if they wanted to consistently
>produce the best and highest yielding corn crop, they were now forced to
>purchase seeds each and every year.  This was not the case before hybrid
>corn was widely adapted.

The advantage of hybrids is not necessarily simply yield _per se_.  
A major factor is that hybrids derived from inbred lines are 
genetically uniform, which usually results in a more uniform phenotype.
As a result you get consistent quality, uniform ripening, easier and
more efficient harvesting, and similar benefits.  On the downside, you
get uniform susceptibility to pests and diseases and other environmental
hazards such as flooding, drought, frost, etc., to keep farmers on their
toes.  ;-)

Cheers,  Ian S.

ianstDELETE at THISdpi.qld.gov.au

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