CBAB2021.pdf (1.13 MB)

Germplasm enhancement and cultivar development: The need for sustainable breeding

Download (1.13 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 18:06 authored by Marcelo Carena
Farmers need sustainable cultivars to increase food supply and value with less production land, animals, and inputs. Next generation plant and animal breeders face climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges. These challenges need to be addressed with opportunities for significant reduction of environmental impact developing cultivars less addicted to fertilizers and soil moisture needs. Sustainable breeding can help balance agriculture with the environment. Sustainable breeders need to integrate long-term pre-breeding activities with cultivar development efforts providing farmers options to comply with environmental regulations. Good choice of germplasm is still the most important decision. The most sophisticated tools will have limited success if poor choices of germplasm are made. Seed companies need capable breeders developing the next generation of sustainable cultivars while public institutions need to mentor sustainable breeders capable to not only broadening and improving unique germplasm but also developing new cultivars carrying desirable traits. Graduates mentored in breeding programs integrating these needs will be selected for industry jobs without need for re-training. Sustainable breeders will need to operate in new breeding centers located in strategic environments for faster genetic improvement ahead of climate changes. Key factors for developing useful and unique sustainable cultivars will be the adaptation of exotic germplasm and the maximization of its genetic improvement before cultivar development through public and private partnerships. Inbreeding, genetic divergence, and reciprocal recurrent selection programs will continue to be essential to purify cultivars and exploit heterosis in economically important species.


Rights statement

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Brazilian Society of Plant Breeding

Journal title

Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology




Carena, M. J. (2021). Germplasm enhancement and cultivar development: The need for sustainable breeding. Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology, 21(S), e385621S4. doi:10.1590/1984-70332021v21Sa17

Usage metrics


    Ref. manager