Comparison of Lines Derived by Anther Culture and Single-Seed Descent in a Spring Wheat Cross
- Melinda J. Mitchell,
- Robert H. Busch and
- Howard W. Rines
Anther culture has the potential to produce homozygenous lines from crosses more rapidly than most conventional breeding methods, but in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) there have been only limited tests comparing the field performance of lines developed from crosses using these methods. This study was conducted to compare the performance of F1 anther culture-derived doubled-haploid (AC) lines and F4-derived random lines obtained by single-seed descent (SSD) from a cross of spring wheat. Forty AC lines and 40 SSD lines developed from ‘Chris’/MN7529 were evaluated for six traits (grain yield, grain protein, plant height, kernel weight, heading date, and harvest index) at two locations in 1988 and 1989. The mean of the SSD lines was consistently higher than the mean of the AC lines for plant height and for kernel weight. The SSD lines also had a higher mean grain yield than AC lines in 1988, under severe drought conditions, but not in 1989. The AC lines exhibited greater genetic variance for grain protein and had a larger proportion of high-protein lines than SSD lines. No differences between methods for harvest index and heading date were found, with the exception of a slightly larger variance of the AC lines for harvest index in 1988. Upon comparison of the means of the highest 20% of the lines from each method for yield and protein, only the high-protein AC lines were found to have a greater mean and this was in 1989 only. For all of the traits analyzed, an acceptable level of performance could be found among the AC-produced lines, and selected lines were as agronomically desirable as those produced by SSD. However, there are often severe genotype limitations on the efficiency of doubled-haploid line production via anther culture, resulting in smaller population sizes from which to select desireable lines than with the SSD method.
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