• Preparation of a DNA sample in the laboratory
    Hybrid Breeding

Hybrid breeding


In a nutshell

In hybrid breeding, two genetically different parent lines are crossbred.


The offspring (hybrids) are bigger, more fruitful and more resilient than their parental lines (hybrid vigour).


The heterosis effect is maintained only for one generation.


1920s in the USA

Application at KWS

Breeding of maize, sugarbeets, rapeseed, rye and sunflowers.

To breed hybrid seeds, two homozygotic, but as genetically different as possible, parental lines are cross-bred with each other. Because of the heterosis effect, the resulting heterozygous offspring ("hybrids") are much more productive than both parents, thus yielding higher returns.

The hybrid vigour makes plants bigger, more fruitful and more resilient than their parental lines. However, it is maintained only for one generation. Hybrid breeding is used worldwide for many crops.


In the case of maize or sugarbeets, many countries almost exclusively grow hybrid varieties. At the same time, hybrid breeding is very complex. Self-fertilisation, for instance, must often be prevented. In addition, two parent lines must be bred per hybrid.


An overview of our breeding methods

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Stephan Krings
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