Hybridization: The Art of Crossing and Selecting

The creation of hybrid varieties is one of the breeding techniques with the best results. The idea is simple: by using a controlled method for crossing and using two carefully selected parental pure inbred lines with characteristics of particular interest, it is possible to obtain a variety with superior performance.

This phenomenon is known as hybrid vigor or heterosis. As a rule, hybrid varieties have a much higher yield and are more tolerant to different types of stress than the conventional varieties.


To produce a hybrid variety and combine desired qualities, two pure inbred parental lines are required: a female and a male line. In the hybrid creation process, the first step for the breeder is to develop the two pure inbred parental female and male lines carrying the required genes. This is done through inbreeding (self pollination) for up to 7 generations. Both lines must be produced in isolation to guarantee a high level of gene purity.

Once the two pure inbred parental lines carrying all desired genes have been obtained, they can be crossed to produce a hybrid variety. If the breeder has chosen the right mating combination, the resulting hybrid will show hybrid vigor (heterosis). As a rule, the greater the genetic distance of parental inbred lines, the higher the heterosis. That is why we have to use a very broad germplasm base and exotic lines to develop outstanding hybrids.
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