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Crop Science Abstract -

Selection for Grain Protein, Grain Yield, and Nitrogen Partitioning Efficiency in Hard Red Spring Wheat1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 22 No. 3, p. 591-595
    Received: June 12, 1981

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  1. C. M. Löffler and
  2. R. H. Busch2



Progeny from three crosses of adapted hard red spring wheats (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell.) and a common exotic parent, ‘Rageni 15’, were grown in replicated field experiments for 3 years in Minnesota. Agronomic and physiologic traits were measured to evaluate Rageni 15 as a source of high grain protein and to appraise selection criteria for the combination of grain yield and grain protein percentage.

The comparison of actual vs. predicted grain protein percentage, based on the linear regression of grain protein percentage on grain yield, indicated the Rageni 15 had low yield and grain protein percentage, and did not contribute higher grain protein to its progeny.

Grain yield and grain protein percentage were negatively correlated (r = −0.48), and no single selection criterion proved of value in improving both traits simultaneously. Improvement of grain protein percentage with reduction of grain yield was obtained upon selection for high deviants from the linear regression of grain protein percentage on grain yield, protein content per kernel, and grain protein percentage. Selection for grain protein per se was most effective in improving this trait.

Nitrogen harvest index and harvest index were correlated (r = −0.54) and both were positively correlated with grain yield. Grain protein percentage was negatively correlated with harvest index (r = −0.54), but it was not correlated with N harvest index (r 0.00). Therefore, N harvest index could prove useful as a selection criterion to improve grain yield while maintaining grain protein percentage

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