Speed Breeding: Methods and Applications

  • R. Abdul Fiyaz
  • B. C. Ajay
  • K. T. Ramya
  • J. Aravind Kumar
  • R. M. Sundaram
  • L. V. Subba Rao


With increasing population size, there is an urgent need to double the global food production by 2050, and the onus is on the agricultural scientists to develop new technologies and varieties to double the production. Development of new varieties in any crop varieties is time-consuming as it is dependent on generation period of a crop. Speed breeding or accelerated plant breeding is an emerging strategy among plant breeders to develop new cultivars in short span of time. Here, the plants are grown in controlled growth chambers or greenhouses using optimal light intensity and quality, particular day length and temperature, which accelerates various physiological processes in plants especially photosynthesis and flowering, thus shortening the generation time. Speed breeding can be used to achieve up to 4–6 generations per year instead of 2–3 generations under normal glasshouse conditions. Speed breeding approaches and protocols are well established and standardized for major crop species like wheat, barley and canola. This strategy is now being applied, and standardization protocols are in progress for other crops including perennial fruit crop like apple. Speed breeding could serve as a basic platform for integrating high-throughput phenotyping and genotyping techniques, marker-assisted/genomic selections and gene editing for improvement of the traits in crop species. The present chapter gives an overlook of speed breeding activities carried out in different crops and its importance in present situation of crop improvement under vagaries of environment due to climate change.


Speed breeding Crop improvement Wheat Barley Growth chambers Greenhouse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Abdul Fiyaz
    • 1
  • B. C. Ajay
    • 2
  • K. T. Ramya
    • 3
  • J. Aravind Kumar
    • 1
  • R. M. Sundaram
    • 1
  • L. V. Subba Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice ResearchHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.RRS, ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut ResearchAnantapurIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-Indian Institute of Oilseeds ResearchHyderabadIndia

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