Since 1960, plant breeding has known both in France and abroad, dramatic results that translate into progress in our daily life.
Among them: one hundred examples, expansion of cultivation areas of maize through the early hybrids, the creation of short-grain cereals, tolerant of strong nitrogenous fertilizers, resistant to lodging and ensuring a very high productivity, or increased yields of oil palm, the hybridizations in new Citrus, resistance to anthracnose in beans.
Until the 1990s, the greatest success were not related to the use of the latest acquisitions of biology. They are essentially the result of manipulation still empirical. In contrast to the very positive results so acquired a substantial inaccuracy regarding the mechanisms and genetic bases of the methods used is noteworthy. It suffices to take as evidence the fact that the effects of recombination and gene dosage belong to the realm of randomness.
Breeders are well aware of these shortcomings and try to develop new methods that better exploit the advances in biology. Some are already operational (haploid production by anther culture in vitro) or most (production variants), others more recent (mergers, cytoplasmic heterosis) are very promising and progressing day by day. Amazing results are now accepted. It remains, however, much to understand the mechanisms of gene expression in the effects of redundancy and polyploidy. Only basic research, conducted by breeders, will provide the answers to some of the many problems still remain.