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Crop Science Abstract -

Evaluating Parental Cultivars for Use in Hybrids and Heterosis in Barley1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 10 No. 5, p. 500-502
    Received: Jan 22, 1970

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  1. Brhane Gebrekidan and
  2. D. C. Rasmusson2



Nine cultivars were crossed to ‘inbred’ and single cross testers in a study of methods of evaluating parental cultivars for potential use in hybrids of barley, Hordeum vulgare L. The cultivars were ranked in about the same order in testcrosses to inbreds, testcrosses to single crosses, and in the cultivar per se comparison for four of six characters — kernel number, kernel weight, days to heading, and height. The data did not provide a good basis for deciding among the three methods of evaluating potential parental cultivars for yield or number of heads. However, cultivar per se evaluation is recommended for initial screening of potential parental cultivars.

Twenty of the 27 hybrids that were evaluated in four environments exceeded their high parent in yield, and 16 of them exceeded ‘Traill,’ the highest yielding of the cultivars. Heterosis, on the high parent basis, ranged from –26 to 47% with a mean of 11%. Four hybrids had a mean yield 17% higher than Traill. High yielding cultivars produced a larger proportion of high yielding hybrids than did low yielding cultivars, whereas, maximum heterosis occurred in crosses among low yielding cultivars. Heterosis, on the high parent basis, was negligible for characters other than yield.

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