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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 18 No. 5, p. 779-782
    Received: Nov 12, 1977

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Recurrent Selection for Grain Protein Content in Spring Wheat1

  1. F. H. McNeal2,
  2. C. F. McGuire3 and
  3. M. A. Berg2



The importance of protein in the human diet justifies continued searching for new techniques and recombinations for accumulating in single wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars plant mechanisms responsible for grain protein formation. Recurrent selection within a series of crosses that involve high protein parents offers possibilities for such recombinations. High protein parents were chosen from a randomly selected group of 2,000 genotypes of the World Wheat Collection previously tested for grain protein content at Bozeman, Montana. Nine high protein genotypes from eight foreign countries were chosen and used in nine crosses. The high protein genotypes were crossed with each other or with U. S. cultivars and the two highest protein selections from F3 progeny rows of each cross were then crossed in all possible combinations to provide material for a second cycle of selection. First and second cycle selections were compared with each other and with original parents for potential advances in grain protein content and grain protein yield. Second cycle progeny had higher grain protein percentages than first cycle progeny. However, except for crosses 6711, 6721, and 6724, corresponding decreases in grain yield from first to second cycle provided the same or often less grams of protein in the second cycle. Crosses 6711, 6721, and 6724, plus high protein selections from other crosses, will be used as a germplasm pool for additional selection. A comparison of parents with 27 high protein lines from the second cycle showed an average increase of 2.5% in protein content and 12.0 g/2.4 m of plant row in protein yield. If these lines continue to produce high protein levels, they will be useful in breeding programs and in additional recurrent selection cycles.

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