The varieties of plants that are reliable for transformation are not the ‘latest and greatest’ varieties that farmers want to grow in their fields. In order to move the gene into these elite current varieties, breeders cross with the elite line over and over again. This process is called backcrossing. Backcrossing takes time and slows the progress toward developing a new variety or hybrid for the farmer to grow. But these breeding steps are necessary because the genetic engineer only works with a few genotypes to introduce a transgene or genetic modification while the plant breeder works with hundreds of new parental genotypes every season. Learn more about this process in the video below.
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