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Selection for high spike fertility index increases genetic progress in grain yield and stability in bread wheat

Published on Jul 1, 2018in Euphytica1.527
· DOI :10.1007/s10681-018-2193-4
M.P. Alonso2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
N. E. Mirabella4
Estimated H-index: 4
+ 2 AuthorsAna C. Pontaroli15
Estimated H-index: 15
Abstract
Spike fertility index (SF) has been proposed as a promising trait to be used as a selection criterion in wheat breeding programs aimed at increasing grain yield, but no actual evidence of its successful application has been reported. In this study, 146 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between ‘Baguette 10’ and ‘Klein Chaja’, Argentinean spring bread wheat cultivars with contrasting SF, were evaluated during three crop seasons (2013, 2014 and 2015) at Balcarce, Argentina. Grain yield, grain number/m2, grain weight, and SF were measured at maturity. Changes in grain yield (i.e., responses to selection) after application of different selection strategies, including different selection criteria and selection intensities, were determined. Significant correlations were observed between grain number and grain yield, SF and grain yield, and SF and grain weight. Analysis of SF variance components showed a significant genotype × environment interaction, but it represented only 9% of the total variation, whereas 51% of the variation was genetic, resulting in a high narrow-sense heritability (0.84). The use of SF as a selection criterion, either solely or in combination with selection for high yield, increased yield, resulting in higher and more stable yields than if selecting for high yield alone. Our findings support the use of spike fertility index as a selection criterion for increasing genetic progress and stability of yield in bread wheat breeding programs.
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Physiological bases of Mediterranean wheat yield improvements have been less explored than in other regions, particularly so during the period following the Green Revolution. Due to the common terminal stress of Mediterranean regions, it could be hypothesized that contemporary cultivars would exhibit improved average grain weight and yield stability compared with a traditional cultivar. Despite the lack of clear evidence in the literature, farmers in Mediterranean regions may prefer growing trad...
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Abstract The use of physiological traits for indirect selection may help to increase wheat yield potential. Fruiting efficiency (FE, grain number per unit of spike dry weight at anthesis −SDWa-) may be an alternative to increase grain number per unit area (GN), but the possible cross-over genotype (G) × environment (E) interaction and trade-off with SDWa and grain weight (GW) may limit its usefulness. The present paper aimed to determine (i) the degree of G × E interaction of FE at plot, main st...
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Efforts to enhance the yield of wheat require increases in the number of grains per m2 (GN) which depends on spike fertility, i.e. the number of fertile florets or grains per spike. Fruiting efficiency (FE), the number of grains set per unit spike dry weight at anthesis, has been proposed as an alternative trait to improve spike fertility and thus GN. The use of FE in realistic breeding programs requires genetic variation within well-adapted, high-yielding modern cultivars and a lack of trade-of...
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Grain yield in bread wheat is often tightly associated with grain number/m 2 . In turn, spike fertility (SF), i.e., the quotient between grain number and spike chaff dry weight, accounts for a great proportion of the variation in grain number among cultivars. In order to examine the potential use of SF as a breeding target, (1) variation for the trait was assessed in six datasets combining commercial cultivars under different environmental conditions, (2) trait heritability was estimated in a se...
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