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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 50 No. 2, p. 451-457
     
    Received: Feb 2, 2009


    * Corresponding author(s): yadeta.kabeta@gov.ab.ca
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2009.02.0058

Selection Efficiency across Environments in Improvement of Barley Yield for Moderately Low Nitrogen Environments

  1. Yadeta Anbessa *a,
  2. Patricia Juskiwa,
  3. Allen Goodab,
  4. Joseph Nyachiroa and
  5. James Helma
  1. a Field Crop Development Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Lacombe, AB, Canada T4L 1W8
    b Dep. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Abstract

Developing barley (Hordeum vulgare L) cultivars suitable for low-N conditions is important for sustainable production. In breeding for low-N environments, it must be decided whether a separate breeding program is necessary for this environment or if it can be performed as part of a multienvironmental testing and selection strategy. The objective of this study was to determine the efficiency of indirect selection based on performance under the traditional multiple high N environments versus direct selection under the low-N conditions. Twelve experiments, each consisting of 18 to 25 barley genotypes, were conducted in five to eight environments including a low-N environment in Alberta, Canada, from 2001 to 2006. The low-N conditions used in this study simulated reduced N application as would be used to produce malting barley in western Canada, so the level of N-stress imposed would be considered moderate. Genetic correlations between mean grain yield across multiple high N environments and the yield in the low-N trial was positive and high, ranging from 0.83 to 1.00. The predicted correlated response in grain yield under low N to selection based on mean yields across multiple high-N environments relative to the predicted response to direct selection in the low-N environment ranged from 0.81 to 1.18. This implies that breeding for low-N conditions relevant to malting barley cultivation in western Canada and similar circumstances can be performed as part of the selection strategy for broad adaptation.

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