What is bagging technique? How is it useful in a plant breeding programme?
Various artificial hybridization techniques (under various crop improvement programmes) involve the removal of the anther from bisexual flowers without affecting the female reproductive part (pistil) through the process of emasculation. Then, these emasculated flowers are wrapped in bags to prevent pollination by unwanted pollen grains. This process is called bagging.
This technique is an important part of the plant breeding programme as it ensures that pollen grains of only desirable plants are used for fertilization of the stigma to develop the desired plant variety
It is the covering of emasculated flowers (removal of anthers in bud condition from a bisexual flower by a bag of butter paper or polythene in their bud condition i.e., before anthesis) to prevent contamination of its stigmas with unwanted pollens. When the stigmas of emasculated flowers mature the bags are removed, stigmas are dusted with pollen grains of desired male . plants by means of a presterilized brush and flowers are rebagged till fruit develop. This technique is mainly used in artificial hybridization. Plant breeders often use this technique to prevent the contamination of stigma of the flowers from unwanted pollen grains.