What is backcross breeding?

I’m new to breeding and I’ve heard the term ‘backcross breeding’ thrown around. Can you explain what backcross breeding is and why someone might choose to use this method?

One answer “What is backcross breeding?

  1. Backcross breeding, also known as recurrent selection, is a process used in breeding that involves mating of two related parent strains of organisms with different characteristics. In the backcross breeding process, a hybrid of the two parent strains is produced, which is then mated back to one of the parent strains to produce a strain with a combination of the traits from both parent strains.

    The process of backcross breeding was developed as an alternative to traditional methods of breeding, which often focused on random crossing of individuals to ensure an overall average phenotype among offspring. The aim of backcross breeding is to produce a strain that is not just an average combination of the two original parent populations, but rather one which retains the desirable traits of both parent populations, while also minimizing undesirable traits.

    One example of backcross breeding is between two varieties of a species of grape, in order to produce a grape variety with a combination of certain desirable characteristics from each parent grape. For instance, one type of grape may have great color and aroma, but poor disease resistance, while another variety may have great disease resistance, but lack in the flavor and aroma departments. Through the backcross breeding process, these two varieties would be mated and the offspring would be bred back to one of the parent varieties to produce a strain that has a combination of traits from both parents, such as good color, aroma and disease resistance.

    Backcross breeding has become a popular tool for plant and animal breeders in recent years. This method of breeding has enabled them to produce more desirable phenotypes by selecting and passing on the desired traits to future generations, while avoiding passing on the undesirable traits. Backcross breeding also allows breeders to focus on a specific trait or set of traits, which in turn increases the efficiency, and therefore, the speed of the breeding process.

    In addition to its usefulness in breeding, backcross breeding has also been utilized in the field of genetic engineering. Scientists use this method to rein in undesirable recessive genes and also to insert desirable traits into plants and animals. For example, transgenic plants and animals can be produced through the process of backcross breeding.

    To sum up, backcross breeding is a process used by breeders and genetic engineers to produce desired phenotypes in plants and animals. The process involves mating two related parent strains of organisms with different characteristics and following the mating process with a backcross to one of the parent strains, in order to produce a strain with a combination of the desired traits from both parents. The process has become a mainstay in the fields of traditional and genetic breeding, enabling breeders to create better products at a faster rate.

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