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Hybrid Seeds

According Seed Association of India the yield from 6 to 8 kgs of hybrid seeds will be equivalent to that of 20 to 30 kgs of conventional seeds, which are currently being used by farmers for fair average quality (FAQ) variety in one acre of land. And apparently India can produce a whopping 25 million tons of additional rice a year by using hybrid seeds in a big way as per the estimates of the seed industry experts. However for optimum yield, the hybrid seed, if once used, cannot be kept as a seed from its harvest, which is done in conventional system. So, farmers must buy such seeds every year.

What are Hybrid Seeds?
In the agricultural and the gardening sector, hybrid seeds are a variety of seeds which are created by

simulated cross-pollination of plants. Hybrid seeds are produced from naturally out-breeding crops, from which inbred lines are produced by repeated self-pollination. The established inbred lines are crossed to produce first generations (F1) hybrid seeds. The hybrid seeds are prized because they produce uniform plants benefiting from the effect called heterosis (hybrid vigor). Heterosis can result in a large increase in yield over the inbred lines or comparable lines that are out-crossing. The precise basis of heterosis is still unclear, but epistasis and over-dominance are thought to be involved. Epistasis is the interaction between different genes, and over-dominance is a condition where the heterozygotes (genes represented by two different versions) are superior to either homozygotes (gene represented by the same versions). The F1 hybrid seed is heterozygous in many genes.

Why use Hybrid Seeds?
The hybrid kind has been developed in order to further enhance the attributes of the emerging crossbreed plant. These are meant to be suffused with such features as the following;-

  • Better Yield
  • Greater Uniformity
  • Improved Color
  • Disease Resistance.
Presently, use of hybrid seeds are intensively prevalent both in commercial agriculture as well as in horticulture and hence are widely regarded as having played a determinant-ale role in augmenting the agricultural output during the later half of 20th century and thereby has contributed significantly to the international food security measures.

A Brief History
Hybrid seed began with maize in the 1920s, and became extended to vegetables and flowers; and more recently, rice and some forage crops.

Extensive Use of Cotton Hybrid Seeds
India is the first country to introduce hybrid cottonseeds for commercial cultivation. The public sector in India has played a crucial in developing and propagating the use of hybrids seeds. The world first cotton hybrid H4 was introduced in 1970 by the government Cotton Research Station situated at Surat in the state of Gujarat. This hybrid cotton by virtue of its high yield potential and adaptability became

popular among the farmers initially in Gujarat and later on in states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

State Seed Corporations produce and market only public hybrids. The hybrids developed by public sector agencies are registered and notified to enable certification by State Seed Certification Agencies. Private seed companies produce and market both public bred hybrids as well as hybrids developed by them. The foundation seeds of public hybrids are made available by the government for any one (both public and private seed companies) who wants to multiply them and market to the farmers. In contrast, the proprietary or research hybrids are developed by private companies themselves and they alone will have patent rights over production and marketing of that seed.

Successful and Popular Hybrid Seeds

  • Hybrid Watermelons
  • Cotton
  • Cabbage hybrid namely Sungro 97 (Aditya)
  • VHC3 Hybrid Coconut
  • Golden Rice
  • Salt-tolerant rice varieties for Island areas
  • Sorghum Hybrid for Rabi
  • Maize - ‘Pusa early hybrid Makka1’ and ‘Pusa early hybrid Makka2’
  • TNCSH 1 Sunflower Hybrid
  • PAC 401 HYOLA Hybrid Gobi Sarson
  • "Shree" Ganesh Tur
  • Vamban 3 blackgram :Blackgram variety
  • Tomato variety : Pusa Hybrid 4
  • ‘Pusa-Broccoli KTS 1’
  • Hybrid Castor
  • Palak `Pusa Bharati’ Indian Spinach
  • 'Arka Abir’ Paprika Chilly.