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dividerNews ArchivedividerIranian Scientists’ Achievement in Developing Parental Lines of Hybrid Vegetable Seeds Utilizing Reverse Breeding Method, 19 June, 2017
Iranian Scientists’ Achievement in Developing Parental Lines of Hybrid Vegetable Seeds Utilizing Reverse Breeding Method, 19 June, 2017
Iranian Scientists’ Achievement in Developing Parental Lines of Hybrid Vegetable Seeds Utilizing Reverse Breeding Method, 19 June, 2017

While more than 98% of the seeds utilized in vegetables are imported, the scientists of Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran achieved the protocol of hybrid seed production after so many years of research. Eliminating the million-dollar-dependency to importing, this technology can develop seeds adapted to Iran’s climate and optimized water utilization. 

     Associate Professor, Mehran Enayati Shariatpanahi, Head of Tissue and Cell Culture Department, declared that regarding the obstacles, technical complications and high profitability of producing hybrid seeds, foreign companies has monopolized the knowledge of hybrid seed production. Accordingly, Iran is completely dependent on importing of hybrid seeds, specially vegetables. According to the statistics, 98% of the seeds utilized for vegetables are imported, which costs up to 90 million dollars, based on the official statistics, and up to 200 million dollars, based on non-official statistics. In addition, imported seeds have not been bred for Iran’s climate and utilize considerable amount of water.     

     Emphasizing on the necessity of reaching the technology of parental lines of hybrid seeds, he asserted that our researchers have developed the lines utilizing the double haploid technology. The tissue and cell culture scientists at ABRII succeeded in finding the protocol of double haploid plants and parental lines of producing hybrid seeds, aiming to provide the required hybrid seeds of Iran.

      Haploids plants are the ones that their major chromosome number is reduced to half. These plants are dependent and have sporophyte origin; moreover, recessive alleles occur because of the absence of dominant alleles. Breeding by utilization of haploid plants initiates a new stage for breeding projects, which is considered the most desirable way as account of developing complete pure F1 lines of a certain cross in a short period of time. This can be accomplished by developing haploid plants and obtaining complete pure double haploid lines through doubling the number of chromosomes.

     He claimed that in cross-pollinated species, like corn, cucumber, vegetables and rapeseed, the major income of the breeding companies is gained through F1 seeds, which can be used once for cultivation. Accordingly, the obtained seeds from hybrids do not have the desirable characteristics and the farmers need to repurchase them. The research was done specifically on rapeseed and vegetables in Agricultural Biotechnology Institute of Iran, which have not been produced inside the country until the present time. Moreover, conventional methods of developing inbred lines are believed to be complex and time consuming.

     Shariatpanahi indicated that microspore embryogenesis method was used to develop haploids from these plants, which is one of the most efficient and common methods for developing haploids. Firstly, the microspore is placed in vitro, and through stresses like temperature, starvation, chemical, etc., the growth process is changed from developing the pollen grains to embryogenesis, developing haploid plantlet and later to doubled haploid plant. Utilizing the reverse breeding method in rapeseed, our scientists were successful to achieve inbred lines, from which desirable F1 seeds can be developed. Another haploid developing method is utilized in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The pollen grains are irradiated in Atomic Energy Organization by being exposed to gamma irradiation, which are utilized for pollination of target plants. This process develops haploid embryo of cucumber without paternal genome. Afterwards, the embryo is rescued and developed into double haploid plant, which can be utilized in developing lines. This research rendered it possible to develop inbred lines in vegetables and rapeseed including bell pepper, which are ready to be transferred to private sectors and to introduce appropriate hybrids for different regions of Iran.

     Shariatpanahi highlighted that novel systems are developed aiming to produce parental lines through genetic engineering, which can expedite the reverse breeding process.

     According to the importance of developing vegetables in creating a sustainable food future and transferring the technical knowledge of breeding through FAO, he claimed that considering the huge profit, in comparison to cereals which are produced by governmental supports, private sectors develop hybrid seeds of vegetables; therefore, this technology cannot be transferred through FAO and other international organizations. It is our goal to collaborate with foreign companies and become a part of the trade after developing the hybrid seed technology.

     He asserted that Cell and Tissue Culture Laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran is among the 15 pioneer labs around the world in haploids and hybrid seed developers utilizing reverse breeding method. Moreover, protocols of haploid plants of rice and sorghum has been ordered via international organizations to be provided by ABRII to be used in Asian and African countries. Additionally, several foreign agriculture research centers including a German and Chinese universities invited our department to collaborate on developing haploid systems.

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