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What is polyembryony, and how can it be commercially exploited?

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In some varieties of citrus and mango, the nucellar cells start dividing and protrude into the embryo sac. They eventually produce multiple embryos. This condition is called polyembryony. Embryos develop without fertilization in this apomictic condition.

Polyembryony can be commercially exploited by producing seeds of hybrid varieties at a lower cost. In the case of hybrid plants, a farmer needs to buy seeds every year because plants from hybrid seeds fail to produce hybrid seeds due to the law of inheritance.

Buying fresh seeds every season is very costly. If hybrid seeds are produced with a polyembryonic condition, then it would be possible for the farmers to utilize those seeds for the next year and the subsequent years. This is still at the research stage, but there are bright prospects for the future.

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