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Diallel Analysis of Cultivar Mixtures in Winter Wheat


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 41 No. 3, p. 792-796
    Received: Feb 25, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): gallandt@maine.edu
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  1. E.R. Gallandt *a,
  2. S.M. Dofingb,
  3. P.E. Reisenauerc and
  4. E. Donaldsonc
  1. a Univ. of Maine, Dep. of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, 5722 Deering Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5722
    b Pioneer Hybrid International, Maize Research, 21888 North 950th Rd., Adair, IL 61411
    c Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA 99164-6420


Cultivar mixtures have been suggested as a means to achieve increased crop productivity. By choosing cultivars that complement each other for performance of important traits, mixtures could be formulated to meet specific production requirements. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of wheat mixtures and their pure line component cultivars across a wide range of environmental conditions. Six winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) pure line cultivars and the 15 mixtures obtained by mixing seed of pairs of cultivars in equal proportions were evaluated in 33 environments in eastern Washington. Averaged across all environments, mixtures were 1.5% higher yielding than the mean yield of their pure line cultivar components. There was no difference in protein between mixtures and pure line cultivars. For both grain yield and protein, performance in mixtures was highly correlated with the average of the two component pure lines. Diallel analysis of mixing ability, analogous to genetic analysis of combining ability, demonstrated that pure lines differed in their ability to determine both grain yield and protein in mixtures. The ability to predict mixture performance based on pure line performance, together with the potential for above average grain yield, suggested that mixtures can be formulated to achieve specific production requirements.

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Copyright © 2001. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.41:792–796.