Modern versus classical plant breeding methods — efficient synergism or competitive antagonism?

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Summary

Besides classical plant breeding methods based on Mendel’s laws of heredity, new technologies, e.g., cell and tissue culture techniques, molecular markers (RFLPs, RAPDs) and gene transfer, have gained evident importance in plant breeding in the past years. These techniques may enhance the efficiency of plant breeding procedures and new breeding goals can be achieved with the help of gene technology. However, as all these novel techniques are in general only covering very special aspects of plant breeding, they will not entirely replace classical breeding methods. Instead, a combination of new techniques with conventional methods will lead to more efficient and successful breeding procedures. In the frame of this chapter classical and new techniques as well as the combination of both are described with special consideration of the use of gene technology in breeding oilseed rape.