Whole Leaf Tobacco

A historical overview of flue-cured tobacco breeding in the u.s.a

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Founding Member
Oct 18, 2012
NE Alabama
"Breeding of flue-cured tobacco began in the United States as farmers made selections and reselections of existing
cultivars. Organized tobacco breeding began in 1928 with Coker Pedigreed Seed Company. Other major seed
companies involved in U.S. tobacco breeding were McNair Seed Company and Speight Seed Farms. Several smaller
companies also existed for short periods of time. The patriarch of flue-cured tobacco breeders was Dr. Hoyt
Rogers, who contributed to standardization of cultivars and yield improvements. In the past, prominent individuals in
both the private and public sectors were instrumental in improving disease resistance, the primary focus of flue-cured
tobacco breeding since the 1930s. Currently, tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds, Universal Leaf, and U.S. Tobacco
are involved in breeding. Public breeding is limited to North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, while there are six
private breeding companies. Flue-cured tobacco breeding at present is a vibrant activity, but it faces political and genetic
obstacles. A primary political obstacle is the refusal of the European Community (EC) to accept genetically modified
tobacco, while the primary genetic obstacle is the need to identify new sources of resistance to diseases."
The Tobacco Science Journal
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