Breeding and seed production of vegetable crops

Course title:

Breeding and seed production of vegetable crops

Course code:




In-class hours



Laboratory work/Tutorials:


Self-preparation hours

Practical training:




Total hours:




Study cycle:

Bachelor, Master, PhD


Winter & Summer


Faculty of Horticulture and Viticulture

Name of the lecturer(s):

Prof. Nikolay Panayotov, PhD

Mode of delivery:

Face-to-face, distance learning or a combination of  both


Knowledge of vegetable crops, botany, physiology, biochemistry, genetic, general breeding, general agriculture

Learning outcomes of the course unit:

In the course Breeding and seed production of vegetable crops, students acquire knowledge about the whole breeding process and technology for seed production of main vegetable crops. The specific in the biology of flowering, signs and quality of vegetable varieties and their variations depends on environmental conditions and genetic responses are study. On the biological basis and specific of seed production of vegetable crops, reasons for variety deterioration, methods for variety maintenance breeding and technological specifics also are paying sufficient attention in lectures and practices exercises. The problems about government and inside farm control and themes for seed extraction, drying and storage are represented.

The concrete problems, concerning breeding and seed production of main vegetable crops are taught – task and methods of selection, hybridization, variety qualities, assessment of breeding materials, the technology of seed production and storage.

The studied topics are interrelated and complementary. Attention is paid by both through lectures and practical exercises about the acquisition of permanent theoretical knowledge, practical skills and techniques of the specialist whose are capable of working in breeding organization ant organizing seed production companies and farms.

Course contents:


1. Current status, problems, perspectives of breeding and seed production of vegetable crops development. Definition of term variety in selection depends on its nature and creation. Signs and quality of vegetable variety and their variation.  /2 hours/

2. Biology of flowering, pollination, fertilization in vegetable crops.  A way for pollination. Receptiveness of stigma and fertilization abilities of pollen. Responses of plant to their own and alien pollen. Forcibly self-pollination of cross pollinated crops. Deviations from the normal structure of flower, a manifestation of sterility, types of sterility and their significance for breeding and seed production.  /3 hours /   

3. Main tendency and task of breeding. Breeding of productivity, early yield and quality of production. Breeding of resistance to diseases, abiotic factors and stress, heat resistance, cold resistance and drought tolerance. Breeding of suitability for mechanical harvesting. Methods of breeding. Specifics on the methods of selections of vegetable crops and their application.   Hybridization of vegetable crops. Significance of heterosis and its use in vegetable crop breeding.    /3 hours/       

4. Assessment of breeding materials. Methods. Establishment of yield, quality, content of chemical components, availability for processing, resistance of disease and unfavorable environmental conditions. Task and organization of vegetable seed production. Variety testing and variety exchange. Maintenance of variety. Control in seed production – farm and government variety and seeds control. Biological bases of seed production. Requirements to seeds from vegetable varieties. Deterioration and degradation of variety – causes, way and means of protection. Methods and scheme of breeding maintenance. /3 hours/                                                                                         

5. Technological specifics of annual and biennial vegetable crops. The technology of seed extraction. Drying and storage of vegetable seeds. The requirements for the marketing of vegetable seeds.  /2 hours/

6.Breeding and seed production of tomato, pepper and eggplant./3 hours /                                                                                          

7.  Breeding and seed production of Cucurbitaceous vegetable crops – cucumber, melon, water melon, zucchini squash, squash.                                                                                                                     /3 часа/                                                                                                                                

8. Breeding and seed production of leguminous vegetable crops snap bean, green pea, broad bean.  Breeding and seed production of okra.                                                                                        /2 hours/

9. Breeding and seed production of brassica vegetable crops  - cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi.   /2 hours/

10. Breeding and seed production of root vegetable crops – carrot, celery, parsley, turnip, radices, beet root.     /2 hours/  

11. Breeding and seed production of leafy vegetable crops – spinach, lettuce, roman salad.    /2 hours/

12. Breeding and seed production or transplant material of onion vegetable crops- onion, garlic, leak.      /3 hours/                                                                                                              


Seminars and practical exercises

1. Structure of flower and biology of flower in vegetable crops. Technics of castration and artificial pollination.  /4 hours/

2. harvesting, selection preparing, storage and  planting of steclings of biannual vegetable crops.    /4 hours/                                                                                                                           

3. Morphological specifics of seed stalks of biannual vegetable crops. Mean and technology for seed extraction.    /4 hours/    

4. Accept, garding, storage, packaging and marketing with vegetable seeds. Storehouses – type, requirements, equipments, techniques for packaging and storage. Condition for storage of vegetable seeds.                                                                   /4 hours/                                                                                                                           

5. Control – variety and seed in seed production of vegetable crops - rouging, field exception, post control, etc.   /4 hours/

6. Assessment of breeding materials    /4 hours/

7. Organization and agri-technology specifics of vegetable seed production.                                                                              4 hours/

8. Final exercises – watching of scientific education films about specific moments a\in technology for production and extraction. /2 часа/

Recommended or required reading:

1.       Black, M. et al. (2006). Seed encyclopedia, CABI Publishing.

2.       Copeland, L.O., McDonald, M. B. (2005). Seed Science and Technology, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

3.       Raymond, A. T. George (2004). Vegetable Seed Production. CABI Publishing

Planned learning activities and teaching methods:

Lecture, presentation, tutorials, conversation, discussion, exercises, practical training, multimedia presentation.

Assessment methods and criteria:

Exercises evaluation, written exam