Reverse breeding: A novel breeding approach based on engineered meiosis

Rob Dirks, Kees Van Dun, C. Bastiaan De Snoo, Mark Van Den Berg, Cilia L.C. Lelivelt, William Voermans, Leo Woudenberg, Jack P.C. De Wit, Kees Reinink, Johan W. Schut, Eveline Van Der Zeeuw, Aat Vogelaar, Gerald Freymark, Evert W. Gutteling, Marina N. Keppel, Paul Van Drongelen, Matthieu Kieny, Philippe Ellul, Alisher Touraev, Hong MaHans De Jong, Erik Wijnker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Reverse breeding (RB) is a novel plant breeding technique designed to directly produce parental lines for any heterozygous plant, one of the most sought after goals in plant breeding. RB generates perfectly complementing homozygous parental lines through engineered meiosis. The method is based on reducing genetic recombination in the selected heterozygote by eliminating meiotic crossing over. Male or female spores obtained from such plants contain combinations of non-recombinant parental chromosomes which can be cultured in vitro to generate homozygous doubled haploid plants (DHs). From these DHs, complementary parents can be selected and used to reconstitute the heterozygote in perpetuity. Since the fixation of unknown heterozygous genotypes is impossible in traditional plant breeding, RB could fundamentally change future plant breeding. In this review, we discuss various other applications of RB, including breeding per chromosome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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