Step 5 : Backcross Breeding

The fifth and final part of producing a genetically engineered crop is backcross breeding. Transgenic plants are crossed with elite breeding lines using traditional plant breeding methods to combine the desired traits of elite parents and the transgene into a single line. The offspring are repeatedly crossed back to the elite line to obtain a high yielding transgenic line. The result will be a plant with a yield potential close to current hybrids that expresses the trait encoded by the new transgene.

Using the backcross breeding method. (Image by P. Hain)