Breeding For Organic Farming Systems

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Breeding For Organic Farming Systems

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By: amolpalkar (91 month(s) ago)

excellent presentation

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Breeding For Organic Farming Systems SPEAKER Desale Chetan S. M.Sc. (Agri.) Student J4-00607-2010 MINOR GUIDE Dr. V. J. BHATIYA Associate Research Scientist, Genetics & Plant Breeding Junagadh Agricultural University Junagadh MAJOR GUIDE Dr. D. R. MEHTA Assistant Professor, Genetics & Plant Breeding Junagadh Agricultural University Junagadh

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Contents Organic agriculture and need for organic breeding Concept of naturalness principles of organic breeding Organic crop ideotypes Genetic variations in organic conditions Breeding methods for organic systems certification standards Conclusion 1

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Organic Agriculture Organic agriculture is production- management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It emphasizes the use of management practices in preference to use of off-farm inputs, taking into account that regional conditions require locally adapted systems. This is accomplished by using, agronomic, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using synthetic materials, to fulfill any specific function within the system (FAO, 2001). 2

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What is organic farming? Organic farming refers to crop cultivation without use of any chemical (insecticides , fungicides herbicides, growth regulators, inorganic fertilizers etc.) 3

World scenario:

World scenario 23 Mha are farmed organically worldwide accounting to 5 % of cultivated land Still organic production area is < 10 % in any country. Organic industry was worth an estimated $ 37 billion in 2000. (Youseffi,2003) Demand has been growing at about 20-30% per year but supply growth is forecasted at about 15 % per year. (Moore, 2002) 4 IFOAM(2012)

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Conventional vs. organic farming systems Category Conventional farming Organic farming Biodiversity Not a specific issue Biodiversity is product of and tool. Utilizes landscape & varietal diversity Fertilization Chemical fertilizers Organic fertilizers Crop protection Synthetic-chemical crop protectants Certified organically approved inputs only Weed management Herbicides Mechanical weeding, flaming, field management (rotation, mulching, stale seedbed, & crop competition) Seed treatment Chemical Physical (hot water or steam) and organic additives Tillage Increasing use of no-till Reliance on tillage 5

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Indian scenario Area: 4,32,259 hectares ( FAOSTAT.org:, 2006/2007) Organic food export – Rs.90 Crores “India Organic” : Logo for certification(2000) National Institute of Organic farming, situated at Gazhiabad (UP) and six Regional Centres located at Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Hissar , Imphal , Jabalpur, and Nagpur. 6

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Organic farming in world 6

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Breeding needs for organic farming Plant breeding concerns are a bottleneck in the further development of organic agriculture. Varieties are currently developed for characteristics that may not be priorities for organic production, and under conventional management regimes. Increase in the use of gene technology which is not allowed in organic agriculture. 7

Chronology of Events:

Chronology of Events No transgenic modifications were allowed by IFOAM IFOAM stated ecological risks Dutch government asked Luis Bolk Institute to elaborate organic view point on breeding techniques and criteria . Report on Sustainable Organic Plant Breeding Formation of ECO-PB 1993 1994 1997 1999 2000 8 International workshop on Organic Plant Breeding Techniques, Drienbergen , 2001

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Fig. No1:- Three main parties in the organic plant breeding chain Farmer Trade Consumer Breeder 9

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Concept of Naturalness Naturalness refers to the avoidance of inorganic, chemical inputs and the application of organic, agroecological principles in crop and farm management and to respect for the integrity of plants ( Verhoog et al ., 2003) There are three approaches . Non-chemical approach Agro-ecological approach Integrity approach 10

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Different Levels of the Integrity of Plants The integrity of plants refers to their nature or way of being, their wholeness, completeness, their species-specific characteristics, and their being in balance with species-specific environment. (Van Bueren et al ., 2003). Nature of life (Integrity of Life) Nature of vegetable life (Plant specific integrity) Species-specific nature (Genotypic integrity) Nature of plant (Phenotypic integrity) and crop individuals 11

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Table 2: Levels and characteristics of the nature of plants Sr. No. LEVELS OF INTEGRITY THE MAIN CRITERIA RESPECTING THE INTEGRITY OF PLANTS IN ORGANIC PLANT BREEDING AND PROPAGATION 1. Integrity of life The autonomy and the self-regulating ability of living entities should be respected. 2. PLANT-SPECIFIC INTEGRITY. Breeding should improve and not reduce the ability to adapt and actively interact with the environments. The breeding process should occur under organic soil conditions. Techniques should not affect the plant’s potential for natural reproduction 3. GENOTYPIC INTEGRITY The amount of genetic variation should be natural to the species. Reproductive barriers should be respected. 4. PHENOTYPIC INTEGRITY Crossing techniques should allow pollination, fertilization, embryo growth and seed formation on the whole plant. Selection should focus on plant types that can maintain themselves and potentially can complete their life cycle in an organic farming system. Drienbergen Van Bueren et al ., (2003) 12

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What is Organic Plant Breeding ? Organic plant breeding is a holistic approach which respects natural crossing barriers and is based on fertile plants that can establish a viable relationship with the living soil. Van Bueren et al ., (2001) Organic Variety: An organic variety is a variety obtained by breeding methods that are in compliance with the above concept and is the result of a certified organic plant breeding programme . Organic Seeds and Planting M aterial : Organic seed and planting material are multiplied or propagated for at least one generation under organic management. 13

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Organic plant breeding vs. Non organic plant breeding Particulars Organic Breeding Non-organic Breeding Breeding methods used which do not involve radiation and chemicals All breeding methods Major emphasis is on Quality Yield Competitiveness with weeds High Low Biodiversiy High Low Genetic base Broad Narrow Use of chemicals and radiations Not permitted Permitted Cost of cultivation Low High Environmental pollution Nil Very high 14

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Breeding Objective of Organic Plant Breeding Competitiveness with weeds Plant stature In organic plant breeding higher priority is given to quality than productivity or yield. In organic plant breeding higher emphasis is given to maintain biodiversity in the variety. Higher degree of resistance to biotic stresses because insecticides/pesticides are not used for controlling insects and diseases. 15

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Advantages of Organic Plant Breeding It is used for developing cultivars and hybrids suitable for organic farming. Use of organic varieties is eco-friendly. It permits multiplication of natural enemies (predators and parasites) of harmful insects resulting in effective biological control. In organic plant breeding more emphasis is given on improvement of quality than yield. In organic plant breeding use of chemicals is prohibited. Use of organic varieties will lead to sustainable agriculture. It promotes use of biological inputs such as organic manures (FYM, compost, green manure, cakes etc.), botanical pesticides ( neem , datura , tobacco, chillies etc.) which do not have adverse effects on the ecosystem. use of organic manures improves the physio -chemical properties of the soil. 17

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The criteria of organic plant breeding At the level of the farm system At the level of the plant & crop At the socio-economic level Closed production cycles Natural self regulation Natural reproductive ability Variety of organisms (agro- biodiversity) Independent ability to adapt to surroundings Genetic diversity with respect for natural species authenticity and species specific characteristics Close interaction between farmer, trader and breeder Regulations taking into account organic agriculture Cultural diversity: multiple breeding programmes Drienbergen Van Bueren et al ., (2003 )

Fig.2:Different levels of breeding, maintenance and multiplication:

Fig.2:Different levels of breeding, maintenance and multiplication Genetic Engineering Conventional Breeding Organic Breeding Breeding of varieties Conventional varieties Organic varieties Maintenance under conventional conditions Maintenance under organic conditions Maintenance of varieties Multiplication under conventional conditions Multiplication under organic conditions Multiplication of seed & vegetatively propagated material Conventional seed & vegetative propagation material Organic seed & vegetative propagation material Prohibited Allowed conditionally To be used Van Bueren et al ., (2003) GMO varieties 22 Drienbergen

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Common misconceptions about the choice of varieties in organic farming Vogt- Kaute et al .,(2001) The conventional varieties are unsuitable for the ecological agriculture The organic agriculture wants to cultivate old varieties only. The number of the varieties for the organic agriculture decreases day to day. Ecological agriculture needs regionally adapted varieties Organic farmers are looking for varieties to propagate and save them on their farms The best varieties for conventional farmers are the best varieties for the organic farmers, too 23

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Plant-environment interaction (Ecological dimension) Interaction between breeder/seed supplier and farmer (Socio-economic dimension) Principles for organic breeding Two main principles 24

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Ecological principles 1. a) Natural reproductive ability 1. B) Independent adaptive ability 1. C) Species authenticity and characteristics 25

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1. a) Natural reproductive ability It is of closed production cycle at plant level from which seed to plant to seed, called natural reproductive ability. In an organic plant breeding system, all activities take place in organic growing conditions, from maintaining parent lines to crossing to selection. This automatically precludes any steps - such as fertilisation - being carried out in laboratories, so guite simply plants must be able to reproduce naturally. In organic agriculture a plant's reproductive ability is regarded as a sign of vigour . Vigour is a vital quality which is indicative of health and nutritive value. That is why organic farmers prefer to use varieties that can complete their life cycle in organic conditions. Finally, natural reproductive ability ensures sustainable use of the cultivar, as progeny evolves to keep pace with the times and changing conditions. 26

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Plant is an interconnected whole and contribute to multi-functionality of Agro-ecosystem. Genotype-Environment interaction has greater value. Organic breeding must aim at increasing genetic diversity within varietes and between varieties. Ability of crop to adopt regional circumstances. Self regulatory ability of crop. Breeding and selection in organic condition at crop level. 1. b) Independent adaptive ability 27

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1. c) Species authenticity and characteristics Species authenticity Help to preserve a species identity. Species characteristics Pertain to plants shape, colour , keeping quality and taste. It may be partly hereditary and partly the result of environmental influence . Specific regional characteristics If a cultivar is adopted to or used in particular environment, it may subsequently acquire specific characteristics resulting from the interaction with that environment. Nutritive value Most cultivars are eaten by people, who believe that fruits and vegetables are good for them because of their nutritional value. 28

2. Socio-economic principles :

2. Socio-economic principles Participatory approach Legislation: Change in variety concept Free exchange of genetic seed stock Oppose patenting of genes New financing structure 29

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ORGANIC CROP IDEOTYPES 30

Desirable Varietal Traits (Based on International Conference on OPB):

Desirable Varietal Traits (Based on International Conference on OPB) Optimal adaptation to local climate Nutrient efficiency Plant health Yield stability in diverse environments Natural reproductive ability (seed health and vigor) Marketable quality Storage ability Nutritional quality (including taste and flavor) Konvalina et al ., ( 2001) 31

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Ideotype of Organic Spring Wheat Good backing quality Good grain yield (minimum 6.5 t/ha) and yield stability Efficient use of (organic) manure Reducing risk of diseases (long stem, ear high above flag leaf, ear not too compact, last leaves green for the longest time possible) Resistance against diseases (yellow rust, brown rust, fusarium spp., Septoria leaf spot, mildew) Supporting weed management (good recovery after mechanical harrowing, good tillering , rapid closing of canopy, dense crop canopy) Reducing risks at harvest (stiff stem, early ripening, resistance against sprouting) Van Bueren ,(2002) 32

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Table No 4 : Average performance of arable crops in conventional and organic farming systems New Welsh Lampkin et al. (2002) Average Yield (t/ha ) Conventional Organic Difference Winter Wheat 7.4 4.0 -46% Spring Wheat 5.3 3.4 -40% Winter Oats 6.8 4.0 -41% Spring Oats 5.0 3.5 -30% Winter Barley 5.4 3.7 -31% Spring Barley 4.7 3.2 -32% Triticale 6.0 4.5 -25% Rye 5.8 3.8 -35% Winter Beans 3.5 3.5 0% Spring Beans 3.2 3.0 -6% 33

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VARIETY ORGANIC COVENTIONAL ILL-590 1.56 (1) 2.10 (1) LL-35 1.31 (2) 1.40 (7) FLIP/03-12L 1.30 (3) 1.45 (6) FLIP/94-5L 1.23 (4) 1.32 (10) M-17003 1.22 (5) 1.49 (4) FLIP/03-24L 1.19 (6) 1.63 (2) F-75 1.14 (7) 1.47 (5) F-39 1.14 (8) 1.40 (8) LC-960254 1.13 (9) 1.53 (3) FLIP/02-IL 1.07 (10) 1.29 (12) F-85 1.07 (11) 1.19(13) US-73 1.01 (12) 1.33 (9) F-39 1.00 (13) 1.32 (11) CAN-III 0.86 (14) 0.90 (15) ILL-96 0.82 (15) 1.07 (14) M-12490 0.79 (16) 0.80 (17) US-1 0.74 (17) 0.87 (16) F-43 0.54 (18) 0.60 (18) US-2 0.45 (19) 0.58 (19) CAN-I 0.41 (20) 0.50(20) Table No 5: - Seed yield (t/ha) of 20 lentil varieties in organic or conventional systems pooled over five environments Vlachostergios et al. (2011) Greece 34

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Table 6 : General criteria for desired varietal characteristics Sr. No. Variety characteristics Criteria (1) Adaptation to organic soil fertility management Adaptation to organic inputs Ability to cope with fluctuating n-dynamics(Growth stability) Efficient in capturing water and nutrients Deep, intensive root architecture Ability to interact with beneficial soil microorganisms High nutrient use efficiency (2) Weed suppresiveness Plant architecture for early soil cover and more light competition Allelochemical ability Allowing and resisting mechanical/physical control (3) Crop health Monofactorial and polyfactorial Durable resistance; field tolerance Plant morphology Combining ability for crop variety mixture Capable of interaction with beneficial microorganisms. Continue…… 35

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(4) Seed Health Resistance/tolerance to diseases during seed production and storage High germination percentage High germination rate (5) Crop Quality Early ripening High processing/baking quality Good taste High storage potential (5) Yield and its stability Maximum yield and high stability under low input conditions Drienbergen Van Bueren et al ., (2003) 36

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Winter wheat: Competitiveness (roots, leafs, plant height) Quality in connection to better N uptake High N uptake in early stages of plant development Good protein forming efficiency, Resistance (e.g. Covered smut and Rust) Spelt wheat: Lodging resistance Backing quality Lower content of hulls Big kernels Spring wheat: Competitive ability Good protein forming efficiency, gluten characteristics Breeding aims for different cereal species in organic farming: Continue…… 37

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Triticale: More “wheat type” for feed quality More “rye type” for growing particularities due to better competitive ability (roots, leaf formation) Good cohabitance with under sown crops Winter rye: Escape diseases during early sowing Good cohabitance with under sown crops Vigorous plants with big spikes Special backing quality Displacement of assimilates, resistance (brown rust, ergot) Good pollination ability H.J.Reents et al ., (2002) 38

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Traits of importance for vegetable crops Marketable yield Disease resistance Insect resistance Nutritional quality and flavour Regional adaptation/ flexibility of the variety over many different agroecological conditions and growing seasons Seedling vigor and cold soil tolerance and hardiness (USDA.,2004) 40

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Sr. No. Crop Problems Improvement needed 1 Tomatoes Early/late blight, blossom end rot, cracking in cherries, Earliness, cold tolerance, uniform ripening, shelf-life, determinate plant type 2 Chillies Corn borer, CMV, Fruit set in cold climate and hot weather, adaptation to plastic culture 3 Onion Botrytis leaf blight and neck rot, thrips , pink rot, purple blotch, mildew (powdery, downy), thrips , inability to compete with weeds Cold soil tolerance, weed competition, adaptation to higher density planting, drought tolerance, storage for spanish types 4 Brassicas Flea beetles, black rot- especially for cauliflower, clubrot , alternaria , , hollow stem, poor consistency in early broccoli, aphids, alternaira , leaf spot, head rot Nutritional content, ability to ship without ice, tolerant to cold temperatures (while in field), low boron tolerance 5 Cucurbits Gummy stem blight, fusarium basal rot, downy/ powdery mildew, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, alternaria on cucumbers and winter squash, blight, anthracnose, Temperature tolerance, fruit set, ease of harvest for zucchini, spinelessness in zukes , fewer and smaller seeds in cucumber, ability of zukes and cukes to hold Table 7: Problem associated with vegetable crops and solutions (USDA.,2004) 41

Genetic variations for organic breeding:

Genetic variations for organic breeding Potential genetic variations within the variety (Genotype Mixtures) 1. Variety mixtures 2. Multiline varieties ( Isogenic lines) 3. Line mixture varieties ( Isophenic lines) Selection for adaptation to organic farming 1. Material environment 2. Target environment van Bueren 42

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BREEDING METHODS FOR ORGANIC SYSTEMS 43

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Line breeding in low-input/organic conditions Breeding for mixture ability Participatory/decentralized breeding Selection in genetically diverse populations Breeding methods for organic farming 44

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Fig . 4 : Organic Breeding and propagation methodology Variety trials Propagation Cultivation Crop groups List of desirable characteristics Screening current varieties Crossing & selection Screening gene bank material Development of selection criteria Breeding Maintenance Registration Screening & propagation of existing varieties Van Bueren et al ., (1999 ) 46 Drienbergen

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Suitability of current breeding methods for organic agriculture Breeding at crop and plant level Breeding at the cell level Breeding at DNA level 47

Breeding at crop and plant level:

Breeding at crop and plant level Parent lines would have to be maintained in organic conditions, just as progeny would be selected and propogated in organic plots. In this way, organic management and regional influence would be incorporated in the selection process. 48

Involvement of hybrid varieties:

Involvement of hybrid varieties Comparable seed propagating varieties are not available. Homozygous lines still have enough vigor to be propagated in organic condition. The F 1 is fertile and can be used as cross parent Socio-Economic aspect is more important as seed cannot be saved. 49

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Breeding at the cell level Embryo culture and ovaries are used to incorporate characteristics of wild plants in cultivars. Techniques at the cell level bypass the direct interaction between the plant and its future growing environment. Cell technique are synonymous with breeding programmes based on specific, hereditary, usually monogenetic resistance or characteristics. 50

Breeding at DNA level:

Breeding at DNA level GMOs The desired DNA can only be incorporated by first reducing the plant to cell level and then reconstructing it using tissue culture techniques. This destroy plant-environment interaction relationship. Diagnostic techniques Genetic engineering has enable selection at DNA level without actually modifying plants genetic make-up. This techniques are based on biochemical and molecular markers and may complement field selection methods. 51

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List of recommendations regarding breeding techniques and their suitability for an organic plant breeding system . Suitable for organic plant breeding Variation induction techniques:- Combination breeding Crossing varieties Bridge crossing Backcrossing hybrid with fertile F 1 Temperature treating Cutting and grafting style untreated mentor pollen Maintenance and propagation Generative propagation Vegetative propagation Partitioned tubers Scale husks Partitioned bulbs Broad buds, bulbils Layer, cut and graft shoots. Rhizomes . Selection techniques:- Mass selection Pedigree selection Site-determine selection Change in surrounding Change in sowing time Ear bed method Test crosses Indirect selection DNA diagnostic methods 52

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Not Suitable for organic plant breeding but provisionally allowed Variation induction techniques Embryo culture, ovary culture, in vitro pollination Selection techniques:- In vitro selection Maintenance and propagation Anther culture, microspore culture, meristem culture, micropropagation , somatic embryogenesis Substances Silver thiosulphate , silver nitrate, growth stimulant and colchicine Not suitable to be banned immediately Variation induction techniques CMS hybrid without restorer gene Protoplast fusion radiator mentoner pollen mutation induction, genetic modification Van Bueren et al .,(2001) 53

Uses of genetic markers in organic plant breeding:

Uses of genetic markers in organic plant breeding For fundamental research, to understand underlying genetic mechanisms For diagnostic purposes: The purity of a variety To distinguish between varieties For selection purposes Marker Assisted Selection Fig. 3 :Information and material flow using molecular markers 54 Marker supported selection of parent Crosses Marker supported selection of progenies Marker supported retrospective analysis

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First release of organic variety:- Alkor , spelt wheat In the selection of parent stock for cross breeding purposes the specific conditions on the farm must be taken into account. Selection and the development of hybrids must take place directly in the area where the new hybrid is to grow so that site-specific natural selection can take place. The hybrid population should be narrowed down genetically only to the extent that is necessary for the given site. Kunz et al .(2002) 55

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Working groups organic plant breeding and seed production within regular organizations 56 Working Groups ISOFAR ESA EUCARPIA

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fertile, and able to be propagated under organic (soil) conditions; adapted to organic farm conditions, which means: efficient uptake and use of nutrients good rooting system broad durable tolerance to diseases and pests weed suppressive ability yield will have lower priority in organic breeding, relative to quality. For organic breeding programmes there is interest in maintaining variation within varieties to allow for buffered response to variation in the local environment; Organic plant breeding should be a holistic approach ; breeders should respect (functional) genetic diversity and species authenticity (natural crossing barriers). Lavita (2005) 57 Organically Bred Varieties shall be:

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Fig. 6 :A breeding scheme for regionally adapted organic wheat 59

Certification basics:

Certification basics Three year transition Third-party verification Lists of substances and practices that are allowed and not allowed- by brand name Organic Materials Review Institute : http://www.omri.org/ Soil management plan 60

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Certification standard Parent lines must be maintained in organic growing conditions. Crosses must be made either under glass house (rooted in soil) or in the field using approved crossing techniques . Selection of the F 1 progeny must be carried out in organic conditions using approved selection methods. Following generations (F 2 onwards) must be selected in normal organic growing conditions. From F 3 or F 4 , selections will be extended to different organic trial plots in different regions. Varieties must be propagated and maintained in normal organic growing conditions only. 6 1

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Fig No 7-Selected studies comparing organic vs. conventional performance in wheat (Murphy et al ., 2007 ) Conclusion:- No genotypic correlation among 35 lines in 4 of 5 paired org-conv. environments for yield, but correlated in all environments for test weight 62

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EPB Landraces Fig. No 8-Farmer field overview. Startified bulk selection. EPB landrace and cutivar trial (CT) are part of the organic farming system, receiving the same agricultural environmental selection pressures and cultivated crops. Murphy et al ., (2004 ) Washingtion 63

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Implications for organic crop breeding Seed-supply systems have become increasingly estranged from farmers, and modern plant breeders. Farmers have limited in their choice of cultivars to those few varieties mandated by their government . Farmers are often unable to afford these new varieties and the chemicals and fertilizers that accompany them, or may be unwilling to pattern their farming systems. Organic farmers have access to bulk populations in early generations and a relatively simple, quick and inexpensive breeding method The EPB method unites plant breeders and farmers in the development of high-quality, genetically diverse, modern landraces for organic farming systems. 64

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Meeting the needs of organic farming Strengths Enables selection for pyramided genes. Enables analysis of variation. Enables the use and maintenance of a diversity of resistance genes. MAS in breeding programs for OA will make it possible for a breeder to use the same methods for both the conventional, low-input and OA market. Weakness Complex trait with large GxE interactions need breaking down into sub-parameters independent of environmental influences. Opportunities Research provides ecophysiological models being developed and can support complex trait improvement. SWO analysis on the basis: use of MAS in breeding for organic agriculture (OA) from a breeder’s perspective Van Bueren et al ., ( 2010) 66

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Better use of genetic diversity vs. loss of biodiversity Strengths MAS enables speeding up the introgression of new genes from wild relatives (without linkage drag). Weakness Too strong marker selection reduces the variation left for selection for other traits. Focus on too few major genes. Many unknown traits/DNA sections which have epistatic genetic effects may be ignored. Van Bueren et al ., ( 2010 ) 67

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Selection at gene or phenotypic level Strengths Molecular information makes breeding more efficient and flexible (e.g. the breeder does not need one large base population but can maintain several small base populations). Molecular knowledge of breeding lines allows breeders to make better decisions; this is obvious for breeders experienced with molecular science. Weakness For some traits MAS has not proven to be more efficient and/or cheaper than field selection . There will be a need to change breeding scheme to benefit from the full potential of molecular markers. Van Bueren et al ., ( 2010) 68

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Fig. No.10: Relative performance (Yield and Protein content) of two winter wheat breed for organic farming. Fontaine et al. (2007) France 69

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Fig. No.9:-Direct vs. indirect selection for seed yield (t/ha) under organic and conventional systems within environments. Vlachostergios et al. (2011) Greece 70

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Disadvantage of Organic Breeding Induced mutations plays important role in developing new varieties and creating extra variability for selection. Protoplast fusion permits gene transfer between any two species related or unrelated. Genetically modified organisms are used to solve those problems that cannot be resolved by conventional breeding methods. Tissue culture techniques such as embryo culture, ovary culture, anther culture etc. lead to extra variation which is used for selection of suitable material. The CMS based hybrid without restorer genes are used in sugar-beets, cabbage and some forages crops. The well known chemical colchicine is used for making hybrids fertile through chromosome doubling. Banning above useful techniques/chemical will prolong the period of developing organic varieties. Restriction on the exchange of material between traditional and organic breeding will have adverse effects in the progress of breeding. 19

Conclusion:

Conclusion Organic plant breeding follows the concept of naturalness by avoiding the use of chemical inputs , and by stimulating the agro-ecological self regulatory ability of organic farming systems and by respecting integrity of plant. Organic plant breeding involves development of cultivars suitable to organic cultivation, enhances the potential for sound organic seed production and farming system. Translation of principles of organic agriculture to that of breeding lead to criteria i.e. natural reproductive ability, independent adaptive ability and species authenticity and characteristics. Suitability of breeding methods indicated that techniques at plant and crop level are best suited, whereas at cell level there exist dilemma. Genetic modifications are not permitted but DNA diagnostics can supplement selection methods for organic agriculture. 71

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