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Crop Science Abstract -

Hypocotyl Diameter as a Predictive Selectin Criterion in Sugarbeet1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 16 No. 4, p. 513-515
    Received: Oct 17, 1975

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  1. D. L. Doney and
  2. J. C. Theurer2



Investigations concerning sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) seedling characters and field root yield suggested a relationship between seedling hypocotyl diameter and root yield. This report deals with the hypocotyl diameter character and its relation to root yield, its genetic characteristics and its use as a selection criterion.

The hypocotyl diameter of 3-week-old seedlings was measured with a micrometer caliper (graduations of 0.01 mm). Seedlings were grown in vermiculite in growth chambers and watered daily with equal amounts of nutrient solution. Hypocotyl diameter measurements were significantly correlated with root yield (0.70, 0.73, and 0.76) in three separate field trials. Significant heterosis for this character was observed in 14 of 18 crosses. In a six-female ✕ three-male sib analysis, general and specific combining ability and estimates of the proportion of additive to non-additive genetic variance were similar for root yield and hypocotyl diameter. Selection of individual plants in heterozygous populations significantly increased the hypocotyl diameter of 3-week-old seedlings. The expected rate of increasing root yield (relative selection efficiency) when selecting for this character was 1.46 relative to selecting for root weight of space-planted beets. These data suggest that this character could be an effective selection criterion for increasing root yield in sugarbeet.

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