plant breeding is considered one of the longest ongoing activities undertaken by humans, who select plants more productive and useful to themselves and the animals for at least 10,000 years ago. the evolution of civilizations paralleled the success of plant breeding, although this has not been recognized by the public. the reason may be lack of understanding of what plant breeding encompasses. the concept of plant breeding evolved, depending on the time it was formulated, but without losing the essence of being art and science of manipulating plants for man. this review discusses the evolution of the concepts and the methods of plant breeding, here divided arbitrarily into selection based on phenotypes, breeding values and genotypes. no matter how big the pool of genetic information in recent years, the phenotype will continues to be important in the present and future.