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Crop Science Abstract -

Combining Ability and Heterosis among Eight Complete Spring Hexaploid Triticate Lines


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 32 No. 2, p. 340-344
    Received: Feb 11, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. T. C. Barker  and
  2. G. Varughese
  1. Dep. of Plant Bleeding and Biometry, 252 Emerson Hall, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853



A diallel study of spring hexaploid triticale (× Triticosecale Wittm.) lines was conducted to (i) determine the combining ability effects and heterotic patterns among eight complete spring hexaploid triticales, (ii) study the effect of stress on the stability of combining ability effects and heterotic patterns in two well-defined moisture regimes, and (iii) determine the relative importance of additive vs. nonadditive genetic effects. Eight parents and 28 crosses were tested at two sites (full irrigation vs. under drought stress) in Mexico. Drought effects reduced yield from 8.3 to 5.7 Mg ha−1, test weight from 746 to 722 kg m−3, and height from 127.5 to 102.1 cm. Entry × site interaction was nonsignificant for yield, suggesting stability of combining ability and heterotic patterns. Entry × site interactions for test weight and height were due to one or a few parental lines. Tests for average heterosis (performance of parents vs. crosses) were highly significant for all traits in both environments. Yield showed mean percentage heterosis over high parent of 7.2% (19.7% maximum) under irrigation and 25.2% (68.2% maximum) under drought. Heterotic patterns for test weight and height were consistent across environments, but some combinations were positive and others negative relative to the high parent. Highly significant general combining ability (GCA) effects were found for all traits under both moisture regimes. Highly significant specific combining ability (SCA) effects were found only for yield, which was due to a single combination. The importance of GCA vs. SCA was clear for all traits in both environments, but GCA/ SCA sums of squares was lowest for yield, indicating more nonadditive effects for yield than for test or height among these Fl'S. This was further reflected by a large percentage high parent heterosis for yield. It seems that triticale has potential as a hybrid crop, particularly under droughtstressed growing conditions.

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