Selective breeding
Selective breeding is the process of breeding plants
Plant breeding
Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular...

 and animals
Animal breeding
Animal breeding is a branch of animal science that addresses the evaluation of the genetic value of domestic livestock...

 for particular genetic traits. Typically, strains that are selectively bred are domesticated, and the breeding is sometimes done by a professional breeder
A breeder is a person who practices the vocation of mating carefully selected specimens of the same breed to reproduce specific, consistently replicable qualities and characteristics....

. Bred animals are known as breed
A breed is a group of domestic animals or plants with a homogeneous appearance, behavior, and other characteristics that distinguish it from other animals or plants of the same species. Despite the centrality of the idea of "breeds" to animal husbandry, there is no scientifically accepted...

s, while bred plants are known as varieties
Variety (biology)
In botanical nomenclature, variety is a taxonomic rank below that of species: as such, it gets a three-part infraspecific name....

, cultigen
A cultigen is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selected by humans; it is the result of artificial selection. These "man-made" or anthropogenic plants are, for the most part, plants of commerce that are used in horticulture, agriculture and forestry...

s, or cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s. The cross of animals results in what is called a crossbreed
A crossbreed or crossbred usually refers to an animal with purebred parents of two different breeds, varieties, or populations. Crossbreeding refers to the process of breeding such an animal, often with the intention to create offspring that share the traits of both parent lineages, or producing...

, and crossbred plants are called hybrids. The term selective breeding is synonymous with artificial selection
Artificial selection
Artificial selection describes intentional breeding for certain traits, or combination of traits. The term was utilized by Charles Darwin in contrast to natural selection, in which the differential reproduction of organisms with certain traits is attributed to improved survival or reproductive...


In animal breeding techniques such as inbreeding
Inbreeding is the reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents. Inbreeding results in increased homozygosity, which can increase the chances of offspring being affected by recessive or deleterious traits. This generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population, which is...

, linebreeding, and outcrossing
Outcrossing is the practice of introducing unrelated genetic material into a breeding line. It increases genetic diversity, thus reducing the probability of all individuals being subject to disease or reducing genetic abnormalities...

 are utilized.