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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 33 No. 6, p. 1239-1244
    Received: Jan 8, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Hybrid Performance and Combining Ability for Yield and Malt Quality in a Diallel Cross of Barley

  1. E. A. Hockett,
  2. A. F. Cook,
  3. M. A. Khan,
  4. J. M. Martin  and
  5. B. L. Jones
  1. USDA-ARS, Cereal Crops Research Unit, Madison, WI 53706



Breeders of autogamous crop species such as barley (Hordeum vulgate L.) have long been interested in developing F1 hybrids as an alternative to pure-line cultivars in order to capitalize on the benefits of heterosis. Hybrid barley might have most commercial potential because its groin is used in the malting and brewing industry where it commands a premium price. In addition to increased grain yield, hybrids might provide an added benefit in heterosis for malting traits. Our objective was to investigate heterosis and combining ability for malting and brewing traits in a sample of barley cultivars chosen to represent a range in malting and brewing quality. Barley cultivars Harrington, Klages, Menuet, Morex, and Piroline were intercrossed in diallel fashion to produce the 10 possible F1 hybrids. Reciprocals were produced except for Klages. Morex is six-rowed, and the other four are two-rowed cultivars. All but Menuet are or have been accepted malting cultivars in the USA. Parents plus the F1 were evaluated in hill plots in 2 yr and parents plus F2 bulks were evaluated in row plots in 1 yr at Bozeman, MT. Physical and chemical malting characteristics were measured on all groin samples. Analyses were performed to determine importance of heterosis and general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects for yield and malting characteristics. The GCA effects were important for all traits in both years of the F1 trial and the F2 bulk trial, while SCA effects were important for malt protein and wort protein concentrations in both years of the Ft trial and for grain yield, kernel weight, and percent plump kernels in the F2 trial. Reciprocal differences were generolly not important; they accounted for a significant portion of the variation among cross means only for diastatic power in both of the F2 trials. Average heterosis (F1 mean minus mean of parents) was detected for grain yield, kernel weight, percent plump kernels, wort protein, and wort/malt protein ratio in both F1 trials. The heterosis for wort protein and protein ratio is undesirable for commercial use. Greatest heterosis for yield occurred between unrelated two-rowed parents, but F1s with best malting quality were obtained from crosses of closely related parents with high malt quality.

Contribution no. J 2839 from Montana Agric. Exp. Stn.

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