About Hybrid Seeds

About Hybrid Seeds

Hybrid – seeds created by crossbreeding parents of different species or cultivars (varieties) to combine the best traits of both. Hybrids are not genetically modified organisms (GMOs); they are produced naturally by controlled crossing, not gene splicing. Hybridization can occur naturally or through human intervention, whereby plant breeders or farmers select for desirable traits – such as drought resistance, fruit size, or sweetness – and breed them
into new varieties. Hybrid seeds, however, cannot be saved because while seeds from the first cross (called F1) will yield offspring that combine the desired characteristics from the parents, subsequent generations (called F2) will be unstable. Specifically, they will contain a mix of characteristics, with each offspring sometimes looking wildly different and often possessing traits that are almost always less desirable than its parents. Also, F2 seeds cannot be saved, thereby breaking the cycle of seed saving that contributes to the process of gradually adapting varieties to specific climactic and soil conditions.

Significantly, too, commercial hybrids - hybrids developed to meet the needs of the market – are almost all covered by patents. When choosing hybrid varieties, therefore, farmers must buy new seeds every year, introducing an externality into their production cycle and adding to their expenses.

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