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Genetic and maternal variances and covariances of kernel growth traits in winter wheat



Genetic and maternal variances and covariances of kernel growth traits in winter wheat



Crop Science 32(5): 1139-1143



Early maturity is an essential characteristic of soft red winter (SRW) wheat (Trticum aestivum L. emend. Thell.) cultivars that are grown in a double-crop system. Historically, breeders have used heading or flowering date as an indicator of maturity. We were interested in assaying variation for postanthesis traits that may affect maturity in a defined reference population of SRW wheat. Forty-four F-5 lines from a single-cross population, and the 22 reciprocal F-1, F-2, and F-3 kernel generations, were evaluated in several field experiments from 1987 to 1989. Anthesis date, kernel weight at 20 days after anthesis (DAA), kernel growth rate (KGR), final kernel weight, and effective filling period (EFP) were measured. Direct additive and maternal additive components of variance and heritability were estimated. We observed significant variation among the F-5 lines for kernel weight at 20 DAA and for KGR, but not for EFP. Significant (P ltoreq 0.05) maternal effects for kernel weight at 20 DAA and for KGR were observed in the F-1 and F-2 generations but were absent in the F-3. Heritabilities ranged from 0.16 for EFP to 0.80 for anthesis date in the parental lines. We observed a signficant genetic correlation (r-G = 0.99, P lt 0.01) between kernel weight at 20 DAA and KGR, which leads us to conclude that kernel weight at 20 DAA may be used as an indirect selection criterion for kernel growth rate in developing early-maturing genotypes.

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