Tropical Crop Breeding

William D. Storey


The principles which apply to the breeding of temperate zone crops apply just as well to the breeding of tropical crops. For the most parts the chief objectives are the same, the basic knowledge of plant science and supporting science is the
same, and the methods used are the same. Only the biology of the plants is different, there is no good reason, therefore, why a person competent in the breeding of temperate zone crops cannot adapt readily to the breeding of tropical crops.
Plant breeding can be an art, a science, or, at the best, as a combination of both. Regardless of how one endulges in it, however, he must be guided by a cardinal tenet: "Know your plant." One may expect to be reasonably successful in attaining objectives only when he is thoroughly familiar with such characteristics of his species as: the biology of flowering and fruit seeting; the morphology of flower, fruit, and seed; whether it is a naturally self- or cross-pollinating
species; whether it is self-compatible or not; the requirements for seed germination; cultural requirements for proper growth and development; and many others.

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