In this article we will discuss about the significance of haploids.
Application in Crop Improvement:
Productions of homozygous pure lines are the major goal in breeding strategy. These are obtained by back crossing and inbreeding. These processes are however, are time consuming. Once established, homozygous lines have potential for plant improvement in several ways.
With the advent of anther culture, haploids can be obtained in a very short span of time. Following chromosome diploitization, several numbers of homozygous diploids can be produced in single generation.
The efficiency and potentialities of homozygous lines in plant improvement has long been recognised. The homozygous lines are employed at least any phase of plant breeding programme. Utilization of microspore derived homozygous lines has resulted in the development of new cultivars in both rice and tobacco.
Application in Basic Research:
Haploids are ideal tools in cytological studies. During haploid generation, chromosome reduction takes place from diploid to haploid status, which provides unique opportunities for study of pairing relationship among the chromosomes. Haploids can also be used in the production of monosomies, nullisomics and other aneuploids and has been implicated in isolation of these in tobacco.
Haploids has considerable potential in mutagenic study for which, free cells of haploids in suspension could be employed for mutagenic studies and critically assess the production of various biochemical mutants which often exhibit resistance to environmental factors such as heat, cold, drought and more importantly pathogen resistant.
Anther culture provides a unique opportunity to shortening breeding cycle and recovers several types of new gene combinations, consequently helps in plant improvement. In addition, isolated microspore culture system is basically a model system for mutagenesis studies and screening for mutants becomes available.