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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 37 No. 5, p. 1443-1452
    Received: Oct 28, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): tommy_carter@ncsu.edu
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Heterosis in Soybean and Its Prediction by Genetic Similarity Measures

  1. P. Manjarrez-Sandoval,
  2. Thomas E. Carter ,
  3. D. M. Webb and
  4. J. W. Burton
  1. P ioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., P.O. Box 1004, Johnston, IA 50131
    U SDA/ARS. Dep. of Crop Science, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC,27695-7631



Coefficient of parentage (CP) and restriction fragment length polymorphism-based genetic similarity estimates (RFLP-GS) have been proposed as measures of genetic distance in crop species. If these measures are to have application in practical breeding, it is important to validate their utility in predicting genetic traits of interest such as heterosis. The objectives of this paper were to (i) estimate heterosis for yield in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] adapted to the southern USA, and (ii) predict heterosis by means of CP and RFLP-GS as genetic distance measures. Twenty-four F2 populations were developed by crossing three testers (‘Young’, ‘Centennial’, and ‘Tracy’) eight contrasting parents, representing a wide range of CP and RFLPGS. The experimental material was divided into three sets representing the testers above, and was evaluated in eight replications at Clayton and Plymouth, NC, in 1994. Midparent heterosis for yield was 7.9, 4.5, and 7.9% for Sets 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Heterosis was 3.5, 1.6, and 3.0% for 100-seed weight, and 4.1, 5.4, and 13.2% for plant height. The CP and RFLP-GS were highly correlated (r = 0.80, 0.92 and 0.95 for Sets 1, 2, and 3, respectively, P = 0.01), but neither predicted heterosis well for yield averaged across locations because of a large genotype × environment (G × E) interaction. In contrast, CP and RFLP-GS predicted heterosis well for 100-seed weight and plant height in two of the three sets averaged over locations. Our estimates of high parent heterosis for yield (as high as 11% over locations), may justify soybean hybrids as a breeding objective. However, the limited predictive value of CP and RFLP-GS in our study indicates that the identification of favorable heterotic combinations may require extensive field testing.

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