Recurrent Selection for Groat Oil Content in Oat
- C. V. Branson and
- K. J. Frey
An improvement in the groat (caryopsis) oil content of oat (Avena sativa L.) may lead to the development of oat as an oilseed crop. Three cycles of phenotypic recurrent selection for high groat oil content were conducted in an introgressed oat gene pool, constructed by combining high-oil alleles from A. sativa with those of its wild progenitor, A. sterilis L Selection for groat oil content was applied to individual So plants, with recombination among progenies from the highest 10% to form an improved population. One year was required to complete each cycle of selection. Gain from selection was evaluated by field testing 100 random and 100 selected lines from each of the C0, C1, C2, and C3 populations. Selection increased groat oil content linearly at a rate of 9.26 g kg−1 per cycle, which resulted in a linear increase in oil yield of 21 kg ha−1 per cycle. The largest gain from selection for both traits occurred in the first selection cycle. Broad-sense heritability and genotypic variance remained high and significant in all cycles, which suggests continuing gains in groat oil content from additional cycles of recurrent selection. Realized heritability for groat oil content was 0.68 ± 0.05. Of the 400 random lines evaluated, the top 10 lines for groat oil content were from the C3 population, the highest individual line having a groat oil content of 144.8 g kg−1. That some high oil oat lines were equivalent to check cultivars for all agronomic traits suggests selection for oil content had little effect on those traits.
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