Difference Between Hybrid Seeds and GM Seeds (With Table)

Agriculture has been around since the beginning of mankind. Humans have been cultivating different types of plants for a very long time now. But over the last few decades, due to developments in agriculture science, new cultivation and innovative farming techniques have modernized traditional farming, helping farmers obtain better yields and cultivate more to cater to the growing food demands of the world.

Hybrid Seeds vs GM Seeds

The main difference between Hybrid seeds and GM seeds is the gene type present in the seeds. Hybrid seeds are obtained by naturally cross-pollinating two different, but related plants, to obtain qualities of both the plant genes. GM seeds on the other hand are seeds that have been created in labs. These seeds have been genetically engineered to produce better results.

Hybrid seeds are obtained by naturally cross-pollinating two plants that are related to each other. The results of this cross-pollination are seeds that have the genetic qualities of both plants. This selective cross-breeding is performed to create plant varieties that can withstand environmental factors better than the original plants.

GM seeds or GMO seeds, as the name suggests, are genetically modified seeds. These seeds are created in labs by genetically engineering the gene patterns of the seeds. The main reason for conducting genetic modification on seeds is to develop stronger and healthier seeds that can produce better results, than their natural variants.

Comparison Table Between Hybrid Seeds and GM Seeds

Parameters of ComparisonHybrid SeedsGM Seeds
DefinitionHybrid seeds are obtained by naturally cross-breeding two genetically similar plantsGM seeds are obtained by genetically engineering the gene pattern of plants in a lab
ObjectiveCross-pollination is performed to obtain seeds with qualities of both the plants being pollinatedGenetic modification is conducted to create stronger, healthier, and more profitable seeds
Process typeIt is a natural processIt is an artificial process
originHybrid seed production has been around since the second half of the 20th centuryGenetic modification is a relatively newer approach
ImplementationIt is not a costly process and can be implemented easilyIt is an expensive process and requires sophisticated labs for successful modification

What is Hybrid Seeds?

Hybrid seeds are seeds that are obtained by cross-pollinating two plants that have the same gene characteristics. The cross-breeding results in seeds that have qualities of both plants.

Hybridization has been around since the second half of the 20th century. Scientists Darwin and Mendel in the mid 19th century produced plant varieties that were stronger and healthier, by cross-breeding plants naturally.

Since then, cross-breeding has been a staple practice among seed manufacturers to produce seeds that can adapt better to the changing environmental conditions of farms around the world.

The process can only be applied to plants that have similarities in their genetic patterns. Thus cross-pollination has certain limitations to the type of plants that can be used for the process.

The process is completely natural and is conducted in a natural environment to stimulate the natural growth of plants.

The results of cross-pollination are seeds that have the qualities of both plants being bred. This has greatly influenced the farming industry by making it possible to grow plants in different conditions than their original, naturally required conditions.

Stronger growth, health, better infection resistance against insects, greater yields are some of the benefits of using hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds are generally used by local farmers and small-scale farming institutions.

What is GM Seeds?

GM seeds or GMO seeds are plant seeds that have been genetically modified in a lab. Genetic modification is the process of changing the gene pattern of an organism to inculcate different traits in the organism.

Genetically modified seeds are created by performing genetic engineering on the plants. Genetic engineering is the process of modifying the gene pattern of plants by selectively discarding some genes and saving other genes.

Gene splicing is one of the processes that are performed while modifying genes. The genes that are discarded are the genes that result in traits that are not wanted in plants.

As separating the gene pattern of any organism can result in drastic changes in the organism, the process is conducted very carefully and after much calculation, taking care not to destroy the gene sequence.

This results in plants that have better immunity and better resistance against environmental factors such as insects and other micro-organisms.

Thus these plant varieties are completely different from their naturally occurring variants. In most cases, these plants are stronger, healthier, and can produce better results than their natural counterparts.

Genetic modification is a comparatively newer approach to farming and it requires sophisticated labs and environments for successfully creating genetically modified seeds. Thus the process is only adopted by large-scale manufacturing institutions.

Main Differences Between Hybrid Seeds and GM Seeds

  1. Hybrid seeds are obtained by naturally cross-breeding two genetically similar plants. GM seeds are created by genetically modifying plants in a lab.
  2. In Hybrid Seeds, cross pollination is performed to obtain seeds with qualities of both the plants. For GM seeds, genetic modification is conducted to create stronger, healthier and more profitable seeds.
  3. Hybrid seeds are obtained by hybridization which is a natural process. GM seeds are obtained using Genetic modification, which is an artificial process.
  4. Hybrid seed production began in the mid 20th century. Genetic modification of seeds is a relatively newer process.
  5. Hybridization is not an expensive process and can be performed locally. Genetic modification is an expensive process and sophisticated labs are required.

Conclusion

Growing food demands of the world require more innovation in agricultural science. Better planting techniques, better fertilizers, insecticides, and other growth supplements are required to facilitate the farming industry.

Both Hybrid seeds and GM seeds are excellent innovations of the farming industry. As the environmental changes change the farming patterns of the world, newer sees that can resist the environmental factors and yield better results.

Thus Hybrid seeds and GM seeds can produce more profitable results, than naturally occurring seeds. Although these seeds do not occur naturally, they are a completely safe and profitable alternative to natural seeds, as they are healthier and stronger than natural seeds.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03768350500044065
  2. http://tru.uni-sz.bg/tsj/N%201,%20Vol.12,%202014/F.Narsi.pdf
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt0701_613a
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S157495411400048X
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