Plant Breeding and Genetics is an important discipline in agricultural sciences. Plant breeders are considered to be the leaders of agricultural research team because they increase the potential of crop plants for desired traits by changing their genetic make up. Only after having a better genetic potential, we can increase yield and other traits through appropriate cultural practices. Credit of big increases in quantity and quality of agriculture at commodities goes mainly to this discipline.
Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics was established in the year 1982 at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (then Barani Agricultural College) with the initiation of B.Sc. (Hons.) program. M.Sc. (Hons.) program was started in 1996 and Ph.D in 1999. The courses regarding Plant Breeding, Evolution, Genetics, Cytogenetics, Biodiversity and Biotechnology are being taught in the department since then. Research work is being carried out on genetic, breeding and agronomic aspects of yield, quality and drought resistance and salt tolerance in cereal, oilseed and pulse crops.
Goals of the Department
Adequate research facilities have been established in field and laboratories. Five acre land have been allocated to the department at University Farm Koont, in which different research experiments (like crossing block, breeding material from ICARDA/CIMMYT, field evaluation of different lines/varieties) of different crops are being conducted.
Keeping in view the rapid advancement in the field of crop improvement through biotechnology and genetic engineering, the department has established appropriate facilities for in vitro culture techniques for various field crops under sterile and controlled conditions, sterile transfer and genetic transformation.
Four laboratories i.e. Genetic Transformation Lab, Biotech Lab, Cytogenetics Lab, and General PBG Lab. have been established, which are fully equipped.
Research studies of the department are being concentrated on evaluation, characterization of germplasm, genetic and cytogenetic studies, use of biotechnological tools in crop improvement for the characters like yield, quality and drought tolerance in crops of economic importance. The department has also coordination with CIMMYT, ICARDA, BARI Chakwal and NARC, Islamabad for evaluation and screening of local and exotic germplasm.