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Crop Science Abstract -

Testcross Evaluation of Soybean Germplasm


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 38 No. 5, p. 1143-1149
    Received: July 14, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. K. S. Lewers ,
  2. S. K. St. Martin,
  3. B. R. Hedges and
  4. R. G. Palmer
  1. U SDA-ARS-SARL, Bldg. 006, BARC-W, 10300 Baltimore Blvd., Betsville, MD 20705-2350
    D ep. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio Agric. Res. Devel. Ctr., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210
    P ioneer Hi-Breed Limited, #2 HW West, P.O. Box 730, Chatham, ON N7M 5L1
    U SDA-ARS-CICGR and Dep. of Agronomy and Dep. of Zoology/Genetics, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011



The F1 generation of a testcross previously was not used to evaluate soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] germplasm, primarily because production of large amounts of hybrid seed has been impractical and because evaluation of quantitative traits with one or a few plants does not give reproducible results. Recently, a method for efficiently producing testcross seed was developed by using the male sterility locus, Ms6, and a genetically linked seedling marker locus, W1. The objectives of this research were (i) estimation and comparison heterosis and inbreeding depression values for agronomic traits of testcross lines; and (it) determination of the utility of per se and testcross evaluation for selecting germplasm to be included in an existing cultivar development program. Two testers were used to evaluate six lines in three-row plots. Significant F1 and F2 midparent heterosis and inbreeding depression were observed for nearly all traits, including grain yield. The choice of tester was ascertained to be important in determining parental value of germplasm. Parental lines were evaluated by using a combination of per se performance, heterosis values, and a recently developed testcross statistic, Ti. The Ti value was better than F1 midparent heterosis for identifying lines suitable for use in direct crosses. F1 midparent heterosis was better than the Ti value for identifying valuable lines requiring pre-breeding effort. A combination of F1 and F2 midparent heterosis values identified lines likely to have genes with dominance effects; although, because of inbreeding depression, use of F2 heterosis alone failed to identify valuable lines.

Joint contribution of the USDA-ARS-CICGR, and Journal Paper no. J-17062 of the Iowa Agric. and Home Economics Exp. Stn., Ames, IA. Project 3352.

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