chapter  8
Developments in tomato breeding: conventional and biotechnology tools Y. Bai, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Pages 16

Plant breeding is often described as the art and science of altering the genetic makeup of plants for the benefit of humankind (Acquaah, 2012). As a science, genetics is the basis for plant breeding, which started soon after the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws at the beginning of the twentieth century. As an art, selection is essential for breeders to recognize desirable traits and incorporate them into future generations. When the practice of agriculture began, 8000-10000 years ago, earlier farmers altered the genetic makeup by selecting the best performing plants for the next season. Originally, the application of classic genetics principles through visual selection is defined as conventional plant breeding. With the development in DNA technologies, molecular tools, such as markerassisted selection, have been integrated into conventional breeding. Later, the basic process of plant breeding has been challenged by the fast development of genome sequencing. In today’s post-genomics era, it is foreseen that genomic instruments such as gene editing will revolutionize the plant breeding performance.