Sexual propagation is a method of plant propagation that involves the use of seeds or spores to produce new plants. This method is commonly used in agriculture to produce crops, as it allows for the creation of plants with desirable traits and genetic variability. In this blog post, we will discuss the sexual propagation of crops, including its benefits and drawbacks, and the various methods used to propagate crops sexually.
Benefits of Sexual Propagation
Sexual propagation offers a number of benefits over asexual propagation methods, such as cloning or vegetative propagation. One of the primary benefits of sexual propagation is that it allows for genetic variability in the offspring. This means that the offspring will have a unique set of genes, which can result in desirable traits, such as disease resistance, improved yield, or better quality.
Sexual propagation also allows for the creation of plants with desirable traits that may not be present in the parent plants. This is because the process of sexual reproduction involves the combination of genes from two different parent plants, resulting in offspring with new and different genetic traits.
Furthermore, sexual propagation can be used to create new crop varieties that are adapted to specific environmental conditions, such as drought or cold tolerance. This is achieved through a process called selective breeding, which involves carefully choosing plants with desirable traits and cross-breeding them to create offspring with those same desirable traits.
Drawbacks of Sexual Propagation
While sexual propagation offers many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks of sexual propagation is that it is a slower process than asexual propagation. This is because the plants have to grow to maturity and produce seeds or spores, which can take several months or even years.
In addition, sexual propagation can result in offspring with undesirable traits or genetic variability that can result in lower yields or reduced quality. This can be particularly problematic in crops where uniformity is important, such as in the production of fruits or vegetables for sale in supermarkets.
Methods of Sexual Propagation
There are several methods of sexual propagation used in agriculture, including seed propagation, spore propagation, and cutting propagation.
Seed propagation is the most common method of sexual propagation and involves the use of seeds to produce new plants. The seeds are produced by the parent plant and can be collected and sown directly into the soil or in containers for later planting.
The process of seed propagation involves several steps, including seed selection, seed treatment, and seed germination. Seed selection involves choosing seeds from parent plants with desirable traits, while seed treatment involves preparing the seeds for planting by removing any unwanted material or protecting them from pests and disease.
Seed germination involves providing the seeds with the right conditions for growth, including moisture, light, and temperature. Once the seeds have germinated, they can be transplanted into the soil or grown in containers until they are ready for planting.
Spore propagation is a method of sexual propagation that is used to propagate plants that reproduce by spores, such as ferns and mosses. The spores are produced by the parent plant and can be collected and grown in containers or directly in the soil.
The process of spore propagation involves several steps, including spore collection, spore treatment, and spore germination. Spore collection involves harvesting the spores from the parent plant, while spore treatment involves preparing the spores for growth by removing any unwanted material or protecting them from pests and disease.
Spore germination involves providing the spores with the right conditions for growth, including moisture, light, and temperature. Once the spores have germinated, they can be transplanted into the soil or grown in containers until they are ready for planting.
Cutting propagation is a method of sexual propagation that involves taking cuttings from the parent plant and growing
Sexual Propagation of crops. Sexual propagation involves reproduction by seed, which can either he planted directly or sowed in the nursery and later transplanted to the field.
SEXUAL PROPAGATION OF CROPS
Seeds are said to be descendants of many generations of plants and tend to resemble their parents. But due to variability which results from different crossings, they could be different from their parents.
In order to keep the life of plants going. Farmers should select viable seeds for planting. During selection, there are certain characteristics that must be considered for good results.
- The ability of such seeds or plains to resist diseases.
- Are they early-maturing or late-maturing seeds?
- Are they high yielding or not?
- Are they drought-resistant or not?
During selection, farmers should discard seeds that are of inferior quality. Crops that can be propagated by seeds include vegetables such as tomato, spinach, and okra and grain crops such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet and tree crops e.g oil palm, coconut, etc.
In recent years, there have been tremendous achievements in the field of breeding by plant breeders, in order to make more quality seeds available to farmers.
Breeders have produced new varieties of seeds by cross-pollinating several varieties of the plant. Such achievements have been made in crops like maize, sorghum, cowpea, rice, tobacco, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF SEXUAL PROPAGATION OF PLANTS
- Since only seeds with the desired quality and viability are used, therefore in any good environment crop failure is limited.
2. Through cross-pollination, the ability to improve the quality of seeds to be planted is very high.
3. New varieties of seeds can be produced e.g. breeders have produced hybrid maize that is
4. Some plant diseases can easily be controlled by planting only disease-resistant varieties
5. One can easily identify or know the ancestry or parents of the seeds used for planting
6. Transfer of certain characteristics is possible through breeding
DISADVANTAGES OF SEXUAL PROPAGATION OF PLANTS
- Breeding and selection require a long period of time before high-yielding and good-quality seeds can be achieved.
2. Large numbers of worthless and poor-quality seeds may be produced, which are not suitable for planting.
3. Pests can easily damage seeds in storage meant for planting.
4. The cost of production of high-quality seeds meant for planting is very high.
5. Seeds used for propagation are also valuable food for man.
6. There is no guarantee that the seeds to be produced will look like their parents.
7. Plants that cannot produce seeds cannot be propagated.
8. Seeds for planting cannot be stored over a long period of time, because seeds easily lose their viability in storage.
9. Technical know-how is required to achieve the production of high-yielding and quality seeds.
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