Heterosis and mixing effects in barley under drought stress
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C. H. P. Einfeldt, Salvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando, A. Gland Zwerger, H. H. Geiger. (28/6/2008). Heterosis and mixing effects in barley under drought stress. Plant Breeding, 124 (4), pp. 350-355.
Yield stability is one of the main breeding objectives in breeding for stress environments, such as the semi-arid areas of Syria. The objectives of this study were to measure the effects of heterogeneity and heterozygosity on yield and yield stability by comparing doubled haploid lines (DHL) in mixed vs. pure stand (influence of heterogeneity) and F2 populations vs. corresponding DHL mixtures (influence of heterozygosity). Six barley lines from two gene pools (LR = landraces, EL = experimental lines) were used to produce nine crosses (two LR × LR, three EL × EL, four LR × EL). The F2 generation and eight DHL per cross were produced from each cross. The six parental DHL, nine F2 populations, nine 8-line mixtures and 72 DHL in pure stands were tested in five environments under drought stress in north Syria. The mean superiority of F2 populations over DHL mixtures for yield traits across environments and cross combinations ranged between 7.5 and 10%. The effect of heterogeneity was small throughout. For grain yield, harvest index, 1000-grain weight and plant height significant interactions between heterozygosity levels and environments were observed. The effect of heterozygosity for grain yield increased substantially from -1.2% in the highest-yielding environment to 45.6% in the most stressful environment. Interactions between levels of heterozygosity and cross combinations were significant for most traits. F2 populations were considerably more stable than DHL in pure stands, yet not as stable as DHL mixtures. It is concluded that heterozygosity is more important than heterogeneity in breeding for improved yield and yield stability under drought stress.
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