Authors: Madhu Choudhary*, Kana Ram Kumawat, Ravi Kumawat and Mamta Bajya
Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, S.K.N. Agriculture University, Jobner-303329, Jaipur (Rajasthan), India
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The possibility of commercial utilization of synthetic varieties in maize was first suggested by Hayes and Garber in 1922. Synthetic varieties have been of great value in the breeding of those cross-pollinated crops where pollination control is difficult, e.g., forage crop species, many clonal crops like cacao, alfalfa, clovers etc. Even in maize improvement programme, CIMMYT, Mexico is based on population improvement; the end-product of such a programme is usually a synthetic variety. The same applies, albeit to a lesser extent, to the pearlmillet improvement programme of ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India.

A synthetic variety is produced by crossing in all combinations a number of lines that combine well with each other and is maintained by open-pollination in isolation. It would be seen that such a synthetic variety is essentially a mixture of several single cross hybrids.

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