Sterile Seeds: CMS-Hybrids

For thousands of years small farmers' breeding has produced a variety of different plant types. Today plant breeders profit from biodiversity. The introduction of the CMS hybrid has dissolved the natural following generations of seed types.

In seed industry laboratories, the hybrids develop from artificially imbred lines. In the first generation, they develop a desired uniform trait (yield, resistance etc.), which is already lost in the next generation (heterosis). Therefore, the hybrids are not suitable for reproduction and force the farmers to buy new seeds. Cytoplasmic male sterility causes the fusion of foreign cells and nuclei to form a new hybrid that develops an infertile seed. As the first ecological growers association, Demeter decreed in its principles, that varities of seeds that are developed from somatic or cytomplasmic fusion should not be allowed to be used. Now Naturland is calling for a ban on CMS hybrids.

 

FiBl - Dossier: Plant Breeding Techniques , …an overview of ecological plant breeding (24 pages, 2001)

Lammert et al., Organic agriculture requires process rather than product evaluation of novel breeding techniques 

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