Evaluation of parental performance for grain yield in two populations of wheat (Triticum aestivum Vill., Host) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q237hv503

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  • Six winter wheat cultivars were evaluated for their breeding value in transmitting superior genetic factors for grain yield to subsequent progeny. The cultivars were selected on the basis of their potential grain yield and divided into two populations. Population I was comprised of three cultivars which have been in commercial production for several years and are regarded as intermediate for grain yield. Population II was represented by three recently developed cultivars which have superior grain yielding potential. Each of the three parents within each population were crossed in a diallel manner Hence, the parents and subsequent F₁, F₂, and BC progeny made up the experimental populations. These populations were grown at two environmentally diverse sites within the state of Oregon. Morphological characters measured were: (1) tillers per plant; (2) kernels per spike; (3) plant height; (4) weight of 300 kernels; and (5) grain yield. To detect which parental combination had the greatest potential for transmitting superior performance to the subsequent progeny for the components of yield and grain yield, the following parameters were determined for both populations: (1) the amount and nature of the genetic variance associated with each population; (2) average combining ability of each parent within the populations; (3) estimates of heterosis and heterobeltiosis in the F₁ and (4) the possible influence of the genotype-environmental interactions on the parameters measured. Also information concerning the desirability of using top crosses and double crosses rather than single crosses was obtained. In an effort to compare the relative performance between the populations, Pullman Selection 101, which is a good general combining winter wheat cultivar, was used as a tester for both populations. The values obtained in this investigation reflect the properties of the populations studied and should not be interpreted as applying to all wheat populations. Considerable genetic variability was found within both populations for the characters studied. This variability was largely due to genetic factors which were additive. Tillers per plant and grain yield were influenced by both additive and nonadditive genetic variance. The higher yielding parents in Population II were found to be higher in their average combining ability for kernels per spike and grain yield per plant whereas the lower yielding parents in Population I were higher for tiller number, weight of 300 kernels and plant height. Parental combinations identified as being promising, for grain yield in a conventional program, where nearly homozygous lines are desired, were also the same parental combinations which resulted in a maximum expression of heterobeltiosis and would be of most interest in a hybrid program. The desirability of using multiple crosses to maximize the number of favorable factors need further study inctuding additional parents and different combinations plus an evaluation of the performance of such crosses in later generations. In this investigation, the single crosses appeared to be the most promising; however, inbreeding depression due to segregation within top and double crosses influenced the values obtained. Also, the population sizes should be increased to measure the total potential of such crosses. Significant genotype-environmental interactions were observed between locations for plant height and weight of 300 kernels. The estimates obtained for average combining ability, heterosis and heterobeltiosis for the other characters measured also suggested that it will be necessary to identify the most promising hybrid combinations based on the performance of the parents at the specific location. To make the most rapid progress in developing high yielding cultivars in either conventional or hybrid programs, the wheat breeder needs to emphasize crosses between unrelated high yielding cultivars. However, the need to provide superior parental lines which include such factors as disease resistance, should be evaluated. The development of elite germ plasm by geneticists will be mandatory if plant breeders are to continue to improve grain yield.
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