Bioscience in brief
What are intraspecific or F1 hybrids?
What are the disadvantages of F1 hybrids?
Hybrid seed is more expensive than ‘open-pollinated’ maize seed pollinated in open fields. Farmers who cannot afford extra inputs such as fertilizers may not recover the costs of the hybrid seed.
Fresh hybrid seed needs to be bought every planting season farmers cannot replant grain as seed without major reductions in yield, 30 % or more, and loss of uniformity.
Genetic uniformity of F1 plants can be a problem if the conditions are bad, such as extreme weather conditions, new pest or disease.
Traditional landraces are genetically very variable, and hence more resilient, although yields are lower.
Landraces are invaluable sources of genetic diversity.