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Bioscience in brief

What are intraspecific or F1 hybrids?

How do you make an F1 hybrid? III


The last stage of F1 hybrid seed development is large-scale seed production for commercial sale. Two selected inbred lines are planted in the same fields in alternated rows: for example one row of the line selected as the male parent, and four rows of the inbred line selected as a female parent. On the female seed rows, the tassels (male flowers) need to be removed to prevent contamination from the pollen. Tassels can be removed by a detasseling machine, but subsequent detasseling by hand is also required as not all tassels develop at the same time, so some may be missed by the machine and could compromise the quality of the seed. Pollen from the male plants is allowed to fertilise the female rows by the wind. The seeds from the female parents are harvested and packaged for distribution and sale. This process needs to be repeated each year.